Sanusi: Abba Yusuf fixed damage done by Ganduje | Nobody asked for new Kano emirates

Muhammadu Sanusi says his reinstatement as Emir of Kano is an amendment of the attack “on our collective history” by Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of the state. 

Sanusi spoke in an interview with Saturday Sun.

In March 2020, Ganduje deposed Sanusi as the Emir of Kano, citing “total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the governor”.

The former governor, with the help of the state assembly, also balkanised Kano into five emirates — Kano, Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Bichi — with emirs appointed to head each emirate.


The balkanisation persisted until May 2024 when the state assembly passed the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024.

The new bill abolished the five emirates and “all the appointments or offices arising therefrom”. The bill also stipulated that Abba Yusuf, governor of the state, should restore the previous Kano emirate system.

Yusuf assented to the bill and Sanusi was reinstated shortly after.



Speaking publicly about his reinstatement for the first time, Sanusi said Kano has “existed for over 1000 years”, adding that “we are one people” and “nobody asked for new emirates”.

He said the Kano emirate “was not created by the Nigerian constitution” because it “existed before Nigeria”.

Sanusi said the law on the new emirates did “damage” to “our history’s fabric” but the current governor restored things “back to the original order”.


“You see, this was something created, manufactured by the previous government. The people of Kano never asked to be divided. In parts of this country, you have had emirates and kingdoms created, and you can understand that. If you go to Kaduna State, at one time, you had everything under Zaria. But you had huge Christian minorities, different ethnic groups, and chiefdoms were created for them,” Sanusi said.

“‘It makes sense if they felt that they did not want to be under the emirate system or under what they saw as a self-denial system. But Kano is a largely homogeneous society. If you see the Christians in Kano, they are part of us. They don’t say they want to leave us. They’re not asking for a different system. Nobody. If you go to Tudun Wada, we have Christians. You go to Rano, we have Christians. We had an issue in Rogo. You may remember that there was an issue. People went and burnt the church. I went there, took out my own personal money and rebuilt the church.

“So, we are one people. Nobody asked for new emirates. So, what we are dealing with is a situation where somebody divided us.

“But the truth is, when you take the larger picture, this is a kingdom that has existed for over 1000 years. If you go to the king’s list in Kano, the king’s list from Baguada starts in 999 AD. We have a list of kings. From Baguada up to me in my first term, I was the 57th. If you add my cousin and myself, I’m 57th and 59th.


“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. The emirate was there. All that happened was that some of his disciples waged a Jihad and conquered Kano. But Kano was in existence. You will never find a law in the Nigerian Constitution or any law that created the Kano Emirate. 

“So, how does a State House of Assembly get the Constitutional right to amend something that was not created or amend something that was not created by the Constitution, that does not even exist in the Constitution? 


“But the law you will see is an Emirs Appointment and Deposition Law, which already presumes that there is an Emirate. It’s about how you appoint an Emir. But there is no law creating the Emirate. Therefore, when Ganduje wanted to create these Emirates, he could not find a law to amend. He started by amending Emirates Appointment and Deposition Law, which the court struck down. So, he had to, de novo, ex nihilo, out of nothing create a law and create emirates, new emirates that never existed. Something called a Kano Emirate with eight local governments. That emirate with eight local governments had not existed in our one thousand years of history. The same thing with the Bichi Emirate, Rano Emirate, Gaya Emirate. None of them existed in one thousand years of history.

“So, they had the stools for four years and a new governor came on board and said we have to deal with this attack on our system, on our collective history. And he says we cannot in the interest of preserving something with a history of four years abolish a history of one thousand plus years.  He says let’s go back to the original order. That was all that happened. It was not targeted at any individual, at any family, at any person.”

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