Protests broke out in parts of Kano on Sunday shortly after a former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi was named the new Emir of Kano.
Sanusi, who by his appointment becomes the 14th Emir of Kano, takes over from Ado Ibrahim,who died on Friday.
Before the Secretary to the Kano State Government, Dr. Rabiu Bichi, announced the decision on Sunday, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Nothern States Governors’ Forum had goofed by rushing to issue statements congratulating Sanusi Ado Bayero, the son of late Ado Bayero, as the new Emir.
The PDP however withdrew the statement less than two hours when it became clear that it had erred.
The ex-CBN governor’s appointment brought to an end, the succession battle which pitted the contenders and their supporters against one another.
The Bayero ruling house has ruled Kano for a century out of which the late Bayero was on the throne for 51 years.
As with most contests of this nature, Sanusi’s choice did not go down well with some Kano people, who expected the late Emir’s first son to succeed his father.
There were reports of violence along the British Council area of the city which shares a fence with the Emir’s Palace and around the Lodge Road where the state Government House is located.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, some residents of the neighbouring streets trooped out to the palace area in opposition to the choice.
They set tyres on fire and mounted road blocks as they shouted, ‘‘Ba muso, ba muso’’, meaning, ‘‘we don’t want, we don’t want’’ in apparent reference to the choice of Sanusi.
However, security officials who were prepared for any eventuality quelled it before it got out of hand.
Information earlier gathered from the closed door sessions held before a list of the contenders was presented to Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso, indicated that Sanusi was in a close race with his uncle, the Wamban Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi.
Later, news filtered in that Bayero was the choice. This made some on-line publications and a private television station, to report that Bayero was the chosen one.
The SSG however told journalists at a news conference, that Lamido, who is the grandson of the 11th Fulani Emir of Kano and Islamic Scholar, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, had been appointed to replace the late Emir.
He said, “I have the honour to announce that after careful study of the kingmakers selection and advise, we have chosen the former CBN governor and the Dan’Majen Kano, Lamido Sanusi as the new emir.”
Bichi was flanked by the four Kano kingmakers – the Sarkin Bai, Sarki Dawaki Mai’Tuta, and the Madakin Kano.
The SSG explained that the former CBN governor was chosen after due consultations with stakeholders.
Apart from Bayero and Abass Sanusi, the other contender was Aminu Bayero.
The former CBN governor, prepared long for the job. Those knowledgeable about his lifelong desire to ascend the throne confided in one of our correspondents that he used his time as CBN governor to endear himself to the people.
A source in the Kano Emirate said, “If you can recall, he donated N100m to the state after the Boko Haram attack which killed many people.He did so many things underground to help his people.
“The way he was removed from office also contributed because some saw him as incorruptible and his removal unjust.
“He was also able to reconcile the differences he had with Governor Kwakwanso after which both of them found a common ‘enemy’ (I use this word with every sense of responsibility) in President Goodluck Jonathan.
“None of the late Emir’s sons can match the ex-CBN governor in terms of resources, local and international connection which the appointing authority believes can be put to good use for the people of Kano.
“There is also this interesting political angle to the whole thing. Whosoever intends to contest for the position of President in 2015 will have to pay the tradition al homage to the royal father. It will be interesting to see how Jonathan will handle this if he is to contest.”
A night before, a high-powered team of the All Progressives Congress slept in Kano in a show of solidarity for Sanusi. The team comprised of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Bukola Saraki, Nuhu Ribadu, Rotimi Amaechi, Aliyu Wamakko, among others.
Sanusi is the son of Muhammad Sanusi, a technocrat and a career diplomat, who served as the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His father was also Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada, Belgium and China.
The PDP had , in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh , wrongly praised the Kingmakers for their “wise decision in choosing Bayero.
It said the kingmakers had “in so doing, preserved the sanctity of the throne and the confidence reposed in the revered traditional institution.”
“Alhaji Bayero is a rare breed. A man of exceptional wisdom and humility. We have a new Emir who, like his father, remains a detrabilised Nigerians with an unshaken belief in the unity and peaceful coexistence of our people as a nation,” the party added.
The NSGF, through its Chairman, Babangida Aliyu, also blundered like the PDP by rushing to congratulate Bayero even before the state government’s announcement.
Aliyu, who is also the Niger State Governor said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Israel A. Ebije, thanked Kwankwaso for playing the role of a good umpire during the entire process.
He said, “Let me congratulate the new Emir of Kano, Sanusi Ado Bayero over his ascension as Emir of Kano. God has granted him the position and he must sustain his fathers legacies especially in maintaining peace within Kano state, the North and Nigeria as a whole.
“The Northern States Governors Forum is indeed very happy for him and we congratulate him. It is however instructive to intimate that his father had a vision of ensuring that the North and Nigeria remain united and indivisible and that tenet he must sustain.”