Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The last may not have been heard over the creation of four additional emirate councils in Kano state, as Elder statesman, Junaid Mohammed has thrown his weight behind Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s decision.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, he maintained that the decision to create emirate councils was in line with laid down rules and regulations, lashing out at the Bashir Tofa-led Kano Elders under the umbrella of Advocates for United Kano for frowning at the decision on the basis that it was an attempt to destroy 1000 years old heritage of the Kano emirate council on the alter of political consideration.
While warning the Tofa-led group not to play politics with the issue since it was in tandem with the yearning and aspirations of the people of kano state Mohammed who was second republic minority leader of the House of Representatives, said: “Those making such noise are playing politic and if they are playing politics, what makes them think some other people would not play politics against their own interests?
“How come Bashir Tofa from the time he stood for the controversial June 12 election till date, Tofa has not found common cause with any issue which affects the lives of the common Kano people?
“Is it now he is remembering he is relevant politically? He is playing politics. He knows we know he is playing politics and it is not in the interest of anybody and nobody should listen to what he is saying.
“The people he put together are people he thinks he can influence and use them to blackmail the government and even go ad far as blackmailing the federal government. The issue as far as I am concerned is finished,” he said.
Continuing, he argued: “The Kano Emirate council went to court on technicalities. They claim the law was passed in contradiction of the rules of the House of Assembly. Now that had been rectified and the Bill passed again and signed into law by Governor Ganduje.
“What is the problem? There is nothing anybody can do. If another government comes around they can change it depending on their numbers in the state Assembly. For now it is too late. So there is nothing Democratic about the institution when people who are exercising power have not been democratically elected,” he noted.
Asked whether Governor Ganduje erred on the decision to create more emirate councils, he retorted: “No! he didn’t . there is absolutely nothing wrong in the action he took. Look a state nearby called Jigawa was created as a carve out out of the old Kano state.
“Today they have five emirates in Jigawa state. Yet Kano is three times the size of Jigawa state. Why didn’t anybody say due to history no Emirate should be created apart from Hadeija, Gumel and Kazaure?
“They Kano emirate council brought their lawyer, argued in the court of law and you can see the Nigerian judiciary is cash and carry. They said it was wrongly done. Now the Kano government has now gone back to reenact the law and signed into law and then somebody is telling us it was retrogressive.
“I challenge anybody to tell me where in the constitution are mentioned as agents of progress or their stay has any impact in the way the state or country is being governed. Like the saying among the British, no taxation without representation.
“These people are given tax payers money and yet they represent nobody and nobody relate to them. There is no Emir in the north who was elected by more than five people. Kano with a population of 13 million people, can you tell me that five people can decide their fate? Is that democratic, is that what they call progressive?
“The so-called elders are playing politics and my challenge to them is they should go and play proper politics and after winning election they can come and tell us they are doing the right things and those who came before them did the wrong things.” At any rate everybody knew it was coercion which made Lamido Sanusi the Emir. I dare challenge him take me to court on this.”
“Those in whose areas the Emirates were created want the Emirates councils. My challenge to Bashir Tofa and others is let there be a referendum, then we know whether Bichi, Karaye, Rano, and Gaya as to whether they want an emirate council or not, that is what we call democracy and not the wishes of somebody who in the comforts of his house here in Kano say they are the leaders and there must not be any other Emir except the one they know.”
Recall that the Tofa-led Kano Elders while kicking against decision to create additional emirates councils called on the state government to cause the repeal of what it termed “the obnoxious Law creating the new Emirates.”
“Our resolve in this regard was informed by careful consideration of the fact that the personal ambitions of the Governor should not be allowed to jeopardise the overall common good and harmonious relationship existing among the Kano populace,” they noted.