Game of thrones: One Emirate, two Emirs, deepening chaos



The reinstatement of Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of Kano two Thursdays ago, and the attendant dethronement of Emir Aminu Ado Bayero, has come a stalemate but the aftereffects are still reverberating with no clear signs of how the macabre drama will end in the riveting game of throne.

Professor Adeagbo Moritiwon, a political scientist, said “This is Hollywood live; we are reliving the plot portrayed in Game of Thrones, a Hollywood series, which is interspersed with political maneuvering and undertones, setting the once peaceful state divided, verging on the fringe of implosion.

The two prominent royal families are now locked in a supremacy battle over the highly coveted Emirate stool in the ancient city of Kano.Sanusi’ grandfather was an emir, but also deposed by the British, while Amini’ father, Ado Bayero was the immediate past emir.

The shimmering animosity did not start with the dethronement of Sanusi in 2019, it began when Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II beat Aminu Ado Bayero to succeed the latter’s father, Emir Ado Bayero, in 2014.

But in a twist of fate, six years later, Sanusi was sacked for his predecessor’s son, Aminu Ado Bayero, amid disagreement with the state government under former governor Abdullahi Ganduje, in what many saw as political vendetta.

Ganduje’s successor, Abba Yusuf did not belong to his political clan, but that of his rival, Rabiu Kwankwanso. Now with Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, in the saddle as the governor, Sanusi headed back to the throne penultimate Thursday.

Business Hallmark had earlier reported that the Kano State House of Assembly two weeks had passed the Kano Emirates Council Law (Repeal Bill) 2024, dethroning all the five first class Emirs of the state created after the sacking of Sanusi.

The House having passed the bill thereafter dissolved the five Emirates created by former governor Ganduje. Those were Bichi, Rano, Gaya, Karaye as well as the Kano Emirate.
In line with the new law, all offices established under the amended law have been abrogated, thereby reviving the Single Emirate System in the state.

Justifying his actions, Governor Abba Yusuf, argued that the reinstatement of the deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, was a fulfilment of his campaign promise.

His spokesperson, Sanusi Bature, said, “Governor Yusuf further articulated that the return of Muhammad Sanusi II back on throne will propel peace and prosperity, adding that the repeal of the council law was in realisation of his campaign commitments to restore the lost glory of the state and its rich cultural heritage.

“Everyone should go about his or her normal activities in the state, we have done what we believe is in the best interest of the state and its people.”

The governor further issued 48 hours to Aminu Ado Bayero and four other former first class chiefs to vacate their palaces and hand over all emirates property to the office of the deputy governor.

Controversial court order

The matter did not end there as the move by the governor led to a series of countermove, as a few hours to Sanusi’s reinstatement, a new angle came banging on the door of euphoria of Sanusi’s reinstatement.

A Federal High Court in Kano granted an ex-parte order stopping Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf from reinstating Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II pending the determination of a substantive suit filed against the reinstatement.

The order also stopped the abolishment of four emirates: Bichi, Gaya, Karaye, and Rano. The court further gave directives to all parties to the crisis to maintain status quo ante pending the determination of the suit filed by Sarkin Dawaki Babba and Aminu Babba-Dan’Agundi on Thursday.


Security agencies took side

In the wake of the controversial court order, the joint security agencies, under the leadership of the Kano Police Commissioner, Muhammad Usaini Gumel, stated that they would not disobey the court order issued by a Federal High Court hamstringing the state government from reinstating Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.

The Police Commissioner, Muhammad Usaini Gumel, alongside other top security officers of the military, the DSS and others, vowed not to give room for breakdown of law and order in the State.

“Our joint security resolved to keep peace in Kano, and the development surrounding the Emirates Council; the Police Command respects the court order, alongside other security agencies and we have resolved to ensure that we keep peace in the state,” he said.

“Miscreants are advised to stay away from causing havoc in the State, as the safety of the people remain sacrosanct.”

Bayero returns to Kano

As the tension continued to build, just like a bolt from the blues, Bayero was said to have been brought back to Kano and was at the Nasarawa Emir’s Rest House adjacent to the Ministry of Works.

It was gathered that he returned to the town in the early hours of penultimate Saturday. The aircraft which conveyed the deposed Emir arrived Aminu Kano International Airport at about 4:30 am on that Saturday.

Yusuf orders Bayero’s arrest

Furious over the temerity of Bayero’s return, Governor Yusuf ordered his immediate arrest. The Governor, his Deputy, Comrade Aminu Abdussalam and other top government functionaries also took over the Emir’s Palace in an effort to prevent the deposed Emir’s forceful return.

Governor’s spokesperson, Sunusi Bature, in a statement said that in the governor’s position as the State Chief Security Officer, he had ordered the arrest of the deposed Emir for violating the laws and his directives.

Ribadu acting Ganduje’s script – Dep. Gov

In the ensuing milieu of confusion, the Kano State Deputy Governor, Aminu Gwarzo, pointed accusing fingers at the immediate past governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje, of trying to impose the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero on the state.
Gwarzo made the allegation two Saturdays ago while speaking to journalists at the Emir’s palace. He said Ganduje was using the office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to achieve his objective.

He said: “It is unfortunate that the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, is using the National Security Adviser to create tension in the state by smuggling into the state, the former emir, Aminu Ado Bayero. The deputy governor weekend recanted and apologized to Ribadu.

Ribadu issues rebuttals

Responding to the accusations, the National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, denied claims of providing air transport for the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero to return to the state.


Speaking through the spokesman of NSA office, Mallam Zakari Mijinyawa, Ribadu maintained that he did not provide the aircraft that returned the sacked Emir to Kano.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, he said: “I read the comments on social media, it is untrue.

“The NSA did not provide air transport to anyone to Kano. Political actors should desist from misinforming the public as law enforcement officials in the state strive to maintain peace and order.”

Bayero makes statement

Deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, in his first response to his travails after surreptitiously returning to Kano said justice will prevail over the issue surrounding the emirates in the state. Bayero urged relevant authorities to ensure justice because nobody is above the law, urging residents to maintain law and order

He spoke on Saturday at the mini-palace, where he has since returned to after his dethronement.

According to Ado-Bayero: “I call on the people to remain law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal process in this tussle.
“We call on the authorities to do justice in this matter. Kano is a very influential state in Nigeria. Whatever affects Kano affects Nigeria. May peace reign in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

I didn’t give any directive – Kwankwaso

Meanwhile, the former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, said that he played no part in the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano. Kwankwaso spoke with BBC Hausa, Kwankwaso, saying that he never influenced the decision of the governor to reinstate Emir Sanusi.

Allah is the best of planners – El Rufai

Reacting, immediate-past governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, said the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II, as Emir of Kano by the Kano State government was a welcome development.

El-Rufai took to his Facebook page two Fridays ago, posting a cryptic message, evidently referring to the development in Kano Emirate.

In a post tagged ‘Friday Reminder’, with a quote from the Holy Qur’an, El-Rufai wrote: “But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” – Holy Quran – Surah Al-Anfal (8:30).”

Don’t create chaos in Kano
– Council of Ullamas

In their own reaction, the Council of Ulamas in Kano had sent cautionary message to President Ahmad Bola Tinubu against using federal power to cause serious crises that could cripple Kano through his government’s alleged interference in the ongoing Emirate Council impasse.

The Council of Ulamas stated that it was worrisome that recent events in the Emirate, if not carefully handled, could escalate and degenerate into chaos.


In a statement signed by 18 members of the Ulama, the clergy expressed their concerns regarding the ongoing dispute over the emirship.

Ulama emphasized that it was important for Tinubu to take all necessary measures to uphold peace in the state.

In his own reaction, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stated that Nigerians should hold President Bola Tinubu responsible if violence breaks out in the state over the emirate crisis.

Atiku said Tinubu’s government was inviting anarchy to Kano State by providing security for the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero.

In a statement via his X handle, Atiku cautioned the federal government against destabilizing the State.

Meanwhile, Professor Adeagbo Moritiwon a political scientist had also warned the federal authorities against interfering in the Kano Emirship struggle.

He hinted that the federal government did not have the power to determine in Emirship dispute, to appoint or enthrone anyone as Emir.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Kano woke up to the reality of the two Emirs presiding over Jummat service, with Sanusi presiding at the main mosque , while the deposed Emir held sway at the mosque at the mini palace at Nasarawa quarters.

As the drama in the game of throne gets more intense, the clouds of uncertainty seem to be favouring Sanusi on the weekend as alm is gradually returning to the city of Kano following of tensions over the throne of Emir of Kano even Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II enters into the 6th day of his reinstatement even amidst legal action challenging his emirship.

During his initial court session on Sunday, Emir Sanusi, whose Emirship is considered illegal by the Emir Aminu Ado Bayero camp, received the fealty of 40 District Heads and prominent individuals within the council.

On Sunday residents of the city were going about their normal activities. Although security agencies were seen at the Emir’s Palace and guest house, where Bayero is currently staying, the residents of the city seem undisturbed by their presence


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