Desecrating Arewa’s rich cultural heritage.

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Desecrating Arewa’s rich cultural heritage.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

 

The imbroglio in Kano Emirate is serving as the crucible in which arewa’s rich cultural heritage is being desecrated. The biggest loser in the game of thrones in Kano is the Northern Emirate system, its pride, prestige, and rich traditional/ cultural heritage. Its dignity is being decapitated, its aura being eroded, and all it has stood for are being belittled into a chessboard for politicians to flex their war of attrition, with the traditional institutions as ready pawns for their never ending political vendetta. The Northern Emirate system was a highly revered institution which was respected by the colonial masters, placing Northern Nigeria on a very rich pedestal of ancient civilisation. It was a stabilising institution that ran the entire region with a system of governance, along with a taxation regime similar to the British monarchy. That was the genesis of the warmth and camaraderie that the colonial masters extended to the Northern Emirates, as against other regions in Nigeria. Today, all of the grandeur, color and influence of the Northern Emirate system is fast fading away, with the tossil for the Emirship of Kano almost serving as comic relief to the very hard economic conditions faced by the Nigerian populace.

 

‘Kanon dabo’, ‘Kano jallabar hausa’, ‘Kano tumbin giwa’, ‘Kano ko da me kazo an fika’: are all slogans that have exuded Kano’s excellence as a leading State in Northern Nigeria, be it in trade, education, or the prestige of its traditional institutions, that have towered above all of its contemporaries, both in the Sokoto Caliphate and the Kanem Borno Empire. In its prestige and glamor, it has also served as the hotbed of Emirate tussles from time immemorial. Most memorable is the deposition of the Emir of Kano Sanusi I by the Sardauna of Sokoto, and the creation of new Emirates of Gaya, Dutse, Rano and Auyo in Kano by Gov. Abubakar Rimi, and the upgrade of Kazaure, Gumel and Hadejia to first class emirs, equal in status with then Emir of Kano, Alh. Ado Bayero. The most recent was the removal of Emir Sanusi by Governor Ganduje, along with the creation of 5 other Emirates in Kano, of equal status.

 

The present storm was created by the removal of the Emir of Kano, Alh. Aminu Ado, and the installation or reinstallation of Emir Sanusi as the present Emir of Kano. The tussle has been made more complex by the roles of the Legislature and the Judiciary in the State, acting at cross-purposes, intruding in their seperate constitutional roles, making a mockery of both arms of government. As against popular opinion, the Executive arm of government in both the states and Federal Government, appear to be more clear-headed in actions and deed, compared to the ambiguity and controversy generated by the Legislature and the Judiciary. Statements and counter statements by the NBA Chairman, Kano State chapter, and other officials of the NBA, clearly defines that there is an encroachment of the duties and obligations of the two arms of government, and unless there is a clear disentanglement over who does or decides what, going by the rule of law, the Kano game of thrones would go on for a while. The court judgement, whether ‘jankara’ or not, has to be settled, for the pronouncement of the law by the State Assembly to finally rest. However, the frivolities of these kinds of court actions must be reigned in by the National Judicial Commission, NJC, so that courts do not entertain cases they have no jurisdiction over, or cases that seek answers that have already been provided by the Legislature, and the constitution. Most of such cases are judicial exercises in futility.

 

The APC led government of Kano used its powers to dethrone Emir Sanusi, and install Emir Aminu Ado. In the same manner, the NNPP led government of Kano used the same powers to reinstate Emir Sanusi and remove Emir Aminu Ado. Each of the emirs sided with the political party that gave them the throne and that is no secret. Once APC lost Kano in the Supreme Court Judgement that ushered in Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf into power, it was a no brainer that ultimately, he would seek to reverse all the reversibles of the Ganduje led APC. This of course includes the reinstatement of Emir Sanusi. If the APC really needed to have Emir Aminu Ado on the throne, then they ought not to have lost the battle in the Supreme Court. Losing at the Supreme Court meant losing Kano, losing the government, and also losing out in the emirship tussle.

 

As it is now, the situation can best be described by the hausa proverb, ‘haihuwar guzuma, ya kwance uwa kwance’, directly translating as, ‘the delivery of an old cow is not an easy one, with both the calf and cow in critical condition’. The Northern Emirate system’s nose has been greatly bloodied, once more soiling its identity and heritage. The Judiciary and the Legislature have also been bloodied and ridiculed, with each taking obvious sides with no pretences. Both Emirs’ experiences of being enthroned and dethroned are debacles they’d rather not have in their reigns as emirs. Does it now foretell that once there is a change in the party that wins the elections, there will inevitably be a new Emir as well? Or perhaps worst still, if the Emir and the governor supporting the same party do not agree, then we should expect a new Emir within the same party? Kano and all interested parties should allow this matter to rest. It is an unnecessary distraction from the troubles bedeviling the North. Our energies should be channeled towards using the Emiral system to fight insecurity, as against being used as a weapon for political vendetta.

 

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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