Ethiopia's decision to postpone its August 2020 elections indefinitely has raised political temperatures in the country, as both the government and opposition parties accuse each other of attempting a power grab.
Sanusi arrested, moved to Nasarawa State, and replaced
Following the dethronement of Emir Sanusi II yesterday, the former CBN governor was placed under a brief house arrest.
A team of security operatives led by the state Police Commissioner Habu Sani then evicted him from the palace.
Prior to the eviction, Sanusi’s legal representative Abubakar Mahmud, as well as four members of his council loyal to him including the Dan Malikin Kano, went to see him at the palace but were turned back.
News reporters were also denied access by security agents, who were following instructions from the Police Commissioner.
Premium Times obtained a recording of Sanusi’s first reaction to his removal from office.
The video clip shows him thanking all those who have helped him, and thanking God, saying: “Today, the almighty Allah, who gave me the leadership has destined to take it back. As I always say, leadership has a predetermined tenure”.
Government sources told Vanguard that the dethroned Emir has been moved to Nasarawa State.
Sanusi’s current location, in Loko town of the Nasarawa Local Government Area, was not initially the chosen exile destination.
It has been reported that Alhaji Aliko Dangote and General Aliyu Gusau, amongst others, called Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State to request a change of location.
The Emir of Lafia Justice Sidi Bage was also said to have paid the governor a personal visit.
Aminu Ado Bayero, Emir of Bichi Emirate (one of the four controversial emirates created to lessen Emir Sanusi’s influence), has been appointed by the state government as the 15th Emir of Kano.
Chiroma of Kano, Nasiru Ado Bayero, took over as Emir of Bichi.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo expressed regret over the decision of Kano State Government, but also saw a silver lining.
- In a signed letter to Sanusi, he said: “It is sad because it was undeserved. It is good because you have paid the price. My prayer is that God should give you the fortitude and the courage to continue on the path that you have chosen for yourself in the best interest of our community and humanity.”
Governor of Kaduna State El Rufai has not yet commented on the incident.
- But his son Bello took to twitter to say: “The North has had many dark days. In fact, it continues to have very dark days thanks to every metric on the human development index. This very sad news from Kano is as dark as it gets.”
Corruption buster, but not a moderniser?
Some had imagined Sanusi would bring the modernising outlook he brought to Nigeria’s financial system to the archaic structures of governance enshrined by the Emir system.
Those hopes fell short.
- Nigerian writer Elnathan John, for example, points to the fact that on acceding to the throne Sanusi married an 18-year old school girl, “And defended it as his right, using the most conservative traditional language.”
Nevertheless, the political economist and 2019 presidential aspirant Kingsley Moghalu tweeted: “I am shocked, sad and disappointed by the news of the dethronement of Emir Sanusi of Kano. There is in Nigeria a real battle between ideas and modernity, on one hand, and primitivity and retrogression on the other.”
There are some who thought the dethroning was well-deserved, a sort of penance for Sanusi’s supposed sins against the former administration, and in particular against former president Goodluck Jonathan.
- Spokesperson for Jonathan, Reno Omokri, tweeted: “Sanusi Lamido Sanusi facilitated the election of General Muhammadu Buhari. He has his Buhari. Is he happy?”
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Main opposition party the PDP released a press statement, signed by National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, condemning the timing of the dethronement.
- It said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) notes that the deposition of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II by the Kano State government, at the time that the nation is battling worsening insecurity challenges, shows the insensitivity and poor appraisal of core national stability issues by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.”
While some commentators theorise about a possible presidential run by Sanusi in 2023, others suggest that he will be spending the time trying to free himself.