Emirship Tussle: ‘I Don’t Care If I’m Removed Again But Kano Emirate Must Remain One, Says Emir Sanusi’

Sanusi remained focused on the bigger picture, emphasizing the importance of unity and historical continuity within the Kano Emirate.

In a candid and extensive interview with Sun Newspaper, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), declared his willingness to face removal again if it ensures the preservation of the Kano Emirate as a unified entity.

Sanusi attributed the current crisis within the Emirate to the immediate past administration in Kano State, led by former Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Sanusi, reinstated as the 16th Emir of Kano following a Federal High Court ruling, emphasized the historical and cultural significance of the Kano Emirate, which has existed for over a millennium. “For me, even now that I am here, only God knows how long I will be here. I can die tomorrow.


“Another governor can come tomorrow and say that he has removed me, it doesn’t matter. But I am happy if he does not touch the emirate,” Sanusi stated.

He expressed his gratitude to the current government and the Kano State Assembly for restoring the emirate to its original state.

“I am happy that I will not leave a history that it was during my time that these 1000 years of history was destroyed. So, I am grateful to this government, grateful to this Assembly that they have corrected that, that we have the emirate restored to what it was and Insha’Allah that when I die or when I leave, the person who inherits will inherit what we had,” he explained.

Sanusi’s comments followed a Federal High Court decision that invalidated the Kano State government’s repeal of the Kano Emirates Council Law 2024. This law had led to the removal of Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero as the Emir of Kano and the creation of four new emirates—Bichi, Rano, Karaye, and Gaya—by Ganduje’s administration.

The court’s ruling directed all parties to maintain the status quo ante, effectively reinstating Sanusi as the Emir.

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, criticized the court rulings, describing them as “highly erroneous” and lacking constitutional justification under Sections 251 and 254 (C). Despite these legal controversies, Sanusi remained focused on the larger picture, stressing the importance of the Kano Emirate’s unity and historical continuity.

Sanusi recounted the long-standing unity within the Kano Emirate, contrasting it with other regions where new emirates were created due to ethnic and religious diversity. He argued that Kano, a largely homogeneous society, did not require such divisions. “Nobody asked for new emirates. So, what we are dealing with is a situation where somebody divided us,” he remarked.

He elaborated on the damage inflicted by the previous administration’s restructuring, comparing it to the arbitrary colonial borders drawn by Europeans. “You don’t create emirs for people. Somebody who, for one thousand years, has never been under you, somebody now decrees that this is your king. How?” Sanusi questioned, particularly criticizing the creation of the Bichi Emirate, which was historically governed by a village head.

Sanusi highlighted the complex history and the cohesive fabric of the Kano Emirate, criticizing the arbitrary creation of new emirates and kingmaker positions. “You’re dealing with Kano. You’re not dealing with me. It’s not about me as a person. It’s about our history, our culture,” he stressed.

Providing a historical background, Sanusi explained that the Kano Emirate predated Nigeria and even the Sokoto Jihad. “The Kano Emirate was not created by the Nigerian Constitution. The Emirate existed before Nigeria. The Kano Emirate existed before the Sokoto Jihad. Even Uthman Danfodio did not create the Kano Emirate,” he said.

He noted that the division of the Emirate disrupted centuries-old traditions and governance structures. “This is the right they claimed for themselves for their contribution to the Jihad. How does somebody now take Mr. A and say I’m creating a fifth kingmaker in Mr. A’s family? What right do you have to join those four? How? What did you do that gives you the right to be a kingmaker?” Sanusi asked.

Sanusi underscored the importance of understanding the historical and cultural context of the Kano Emirate, warning against arbitrary changes that could damage its legacy. “Now, just like the British partitioned Africa, you divided what had existed over a period of time. People need to understand what this government did, because people don’t understand what that law was and the kinds of damage it did to our history’s fabric,” he said.

Despite the political and legal turmoil, Sanusi remains committed to preserving the unity and integrity of the Kano Emirate. “It’s about the system, not about me or any individual,” he affirmed, reflecting his dedication to the Emirate’s continuity and historical significance.

*This story was initially reported by Sahara Reporters.