THIS was published 1073 days back, hours before SLS was anointed Emir of Kano Emirate. Then, it was a projection. Now, a reminiscence.
With the passing of Alhaji Ado Bayero, the13th Emir of Kano last Friday, all eyes would understandably be on the immediate past, controversial CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. No prince in history had openly coveted a throne not vacant. Many poorly disguise succession ambitions while the seat is not empty, but Sanusi spoke about his, freely, against the grains of customs, tradition and best-wishes since wishing openly for a throne that only death could make vacant, would be tantamount to wishing the occupant dead. That would explain the cockeyed-eyes and twisted-lips of hushed suspicion when Bayero was nearly fell by Boko Haramites last year. At 83, Bayero was sufficiently old, even if suspicion of hurried death, now directed more at the state governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, the royalty’s undisguised foe, would not go away. 51 years on the throne, should also be enough for Bayero’s generations not to aspire for a return soon.
Will Kwankwaso allow another strong-willed Emir, and in this situation, a swash-buckling global citizen of the governor’s generation, unrepentantly-opinionated, well-educated and always ready to shove it down the throat of those he considered as illiterates, a showman per-excellence, bluntly-outspoken and fittingly-packaged for a 21st century royalty?
With the throne becoming vacant, the same week his tenure officially ended at the CBN, would providence not be seen as at work here? Guess, SLS is not destined for the labour market, seeking jobs. Sanusi unabashedly, even allegedly unethically, used his last assignment to favour Kano, its indigenes, Hausa/Fulani kith and Northerners.
But Kwankwaso, almost a replica of Sanusi, would have the final say, even if not all the say. The governor can descend into anything and anywhere to fight his political battles, respects no foe, sees no battle as minute and gives no allowance for rapprochement with his special winner-take-all design. Or how do you describe his APC ‘winning’ all the 44 local governments and 484 councillorship seats in Kano, including the wards of the immediate past governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, Representative Farouk Lawan (even with his bribe-in-cap saga) and other opposition big-wigs in the state. Even in the absence of other empirical justification of the ludicrousness of such winning mentality, the vicious attack by the governor’s men on the prying media during the council poll, condemned by all accredited observers, would be enough to establish a case of trying to quickly bury a dead that required an autopsy. Was the governor bothered? He has even been bragging with his brand, waving his over two million votes advantage in the controversial election to Nigerians as being in charge in the most populous state in Nigeria and possibly to his party as an un-ignorable electoral asset in its presidential consideration.
Will this Northern star allow another, who would habitually want to shine wherever he is, to shine?
With President Goodluck Jonathan as a common enemy during Sanusi’s ordeal, Kwankwaso took his kinsman’s side. They can be said to belong to the same political platform, with the duo, getting frequent mention as presidential materials. It shows they could be kindred spirits. But two positives only produce ugly and destructive sparks. Both are too much of the same to cohabit in the same political space, since it is improbable to divest the palace of politicking. A combustible subordinate is a handful already, let alone a space not clearly defined because it is going to be heretic for the constitutional head of the state to treat the highly-revered Kano Emir throne as a BQ.
The blurred constitutional and traditional territory was mainly responsible for the open tiff between Kwanwaso and Bayero, with the final battle before Bayero bowed out, being over who holds the appointing power on Waziri Kano. When Bayero dared the governor, the latter threatened him with deposition or balkanisation of the emirate and consequently, Bayero’s paramouncy. Both the governor and Lamido are battle-tested. Both took on Nigeria’s supposedly most powerful man; Goodluck Jonathan and came out with a few bruises. Both, perceptively, have a lot of common friends. For a Sanusi being projected into presidential contest, it would be commonsensical for the governor to take him out as a presidential competitor by gifting him the throne and reducing the presidential obstacles before him by one. But the peculiarity of Kano politics and the Siamese personality of the duo, would not make the arithmetic that simple. What if Lamido as emir tolerated the governor till 2015 before moving to appropriate the Kano influence firmament, whether the governor becomes president or an ordinary citizen? What if an installed political godson teamed up with Emir Lamido to trouble the retirement of former Governor Kwankwaso? It is going to be difficult if not impossible to get Sanusi operate with lesser personality aura. He lightens his space as the galaxy, even if individual stars would be allowed eclipsed shimmering. He is surely going to be a controversial emir unless he goes dumb on throne. He is also not likely to suffer complex with anyone, even if you are anything. The obvious says the throne ordinarily should be his for the asking and he will surely ask. But will Kwankwaso just give without counting the future cost? SLS will surely elevate the throne with razzmatazz. Only that he may also end up like his grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi, the 11th Emir of Kano who was deposed by the colonial authorities and exiled to Azare in present day Bauchi State for alleged fraud. For SLS, maybe not for fraud, since he has enough to last a lifetime, but for inability to transit from a boisterous swaggering prince to a demurred emir.