The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido and the Politics of 2015

Sanusi Lamido SanusiThe announcement of suspended former CBN governor, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the new Emir of Kano did not come to many watchers of the predominantly Talakawa city as a surprise. Rather, if the announcement reinforced anything, it merely confirmed Sanusi’s long held desire to step into the shoes of his grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi, as the traditional ruler of Nigeria’s second most populous state.

Since Sanusi was appointed the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria by the late president Yar’Adua, he has never hidden his desire to succeed Ado Bayero. In and out of office he coveted it and left no one in doubt of his dream. He worked for it and studied in preparation for it and many a times dressed as one. His body language and actions in his capacity as CBN governor indicated he was only bidding for time to ascend the throne. If you have ever had the privilege to enter his sprawling office at the CBN complex, the first thing you will see is his framed picture where he dressed in his islamic regalia, leaving no one in doubt of his faith and belief. Thus, the announcement by the governor of Kano state, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso was nothing short of fulfilling all righteousness, more so going by his political leaning. However, Sanusi is eminently qualified to ascend the stool going by his pedigree, but what may likely be the undoing of this Emir who has worn controversy like an embellishment since his appointment as CBN governor threw him into public limelight is his hubris, which he has in abundance.

No doubt, Sanusi’s selection by the four kingmakers over Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero, the first son of the late emir who was also in top contention for the throne must have been politically motivated. But the controversial nature of his emergence has put the city in the political limelight again, igniting fire and all forms of demonstrations by people who feel that the wrong person was chosen for the right job. Capitalizing upon every opportunity to be relevant, politicians of every ideological hue thronged to Kano immediately the death of the late Emir Ado Bayero was announced, ostensibly to lend support to their preferred candidate.

Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) left nothing to chance. Governor Chibuike Amaechi, Bola Tinubu and many other top notchers of the party temporarily relocated to Kano to drum up support for their man, Sanusi. And before even the whistle was blown, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had already sent out congratulatory message to the first son of the late Emir whom it had lobbied to ascend the throne. All these struggles between PDP and APC for the soul of Kano is no doubt a prelude to the struggle for 2015.

And no doubt, the outcome of the selection may have been done to spite President Jonathan. But now that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is believed to have sympathy for APC has won the battle, what is going to be the contour of Kano politics? Does he have the charisma and followership to influence and sway the choice of Kano indigenes majority of whom are talakawas? With the 2015 just at the corner, will the new Emir have the power to decide the trajectory of that election, especially the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan! I am asking these questions because of the interest and uproar the selection of Sanusi has generated in many quarters.

My take in all these is a capital NO!

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi does not have the power, charisma and influence to stop Jonathan’s victory. The North is evolving politically and socially to the extent that prebendal politics that used to be the norm in the past is quickly changing in the zone. That is particularly one of the reasons why the North is no longer monolithic, they can no longer speak with one voice and can hardly agree and act on a thing. With the gradual penetration of western civilization and the opportunities available for many to go to school, majority of the poor and oppressed in Kano whom Mallam Amino Kano called the talakawas are now becoming enlightened and asserting their rights to freedom of thought and action. They have a will, and will want to assert that will come 2015.

I must admit that Kano state is too strategic for any political party to ignore because of its population strength. With over six million registered voters, it is easy to see why the two majority parties are falling head over heels for Kano. But the heat that is being generated in Kano since the announcement of Sanusi as the preferred candidate for the stool is heating up the polity and making many of us uncomfortable because of the fragile security in the country. When our politicians for any reason sponsor demonstrations and seal up palaces to score political points, that may snowball and put the city into conflagration. Our political gladiators should play it cool and understand that Kano alone does not make Nigeria, and that is why they should be careful not to stoke any fire that will turn to an inferno and incinerate the city. After all, the President lost Kano to the opposition in the 2011 presidential election, but that did not prevent him from winning the election.

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