By Abdullahi Musa
In his speech on the day he was presented with a letter of appointment in the Government House Kano, the present Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II spoke glowingly about the unity of Kano Royal House, stating in unmistakable terms that it is one family. He said in Hausa that “Gidanmu gida daya ne” meaning, the royal house is one family. Naturally, what people would expect following such fatherly statement are steps aimed at solidifying and unifying the Kano Royal House and the throne, like Emir Ado Bayero did when he ascended the throne of his forefathers. However, steps so far taken do not seem to meet those expectations.
We do not have to look afar to appreciate this point. Firstly, in three months period that he became Emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II has appointed three District Heads, all of them from late Emir Sanusi’s Lineage. Secondly, all the pictures of Alhaji Ado Bayero the late Emir have been removed from the palace and replaced with that of Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi I, the present Emir’s grandfather. Furthermore, the portrait of Emir Abdullahi Bayero, the late Emir’s father, has also been removed. Thirdly one of the newly turbaned title holders, Dan Maje, himself of late Emir Sanusi’s lineage has been appointed a councilor even though, observers believe, there are more senior title holders in the emirate who have stayed longer in the system and are therefore better qualified for this appointment. For instance, there is Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the former Sarkin Dawaki Tsakar Gida, there is also Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, the Turakin Kano.
Recently, new appointments were made following the death of Alhaji Tijjani Hashim, the Galadiman Kano. To many people’s surprise, Nasir Ado Bayero, the Turakin Kano’s name was left out of those appointments. A lot of people expected him to be elevated even if in the spirit of harmony and fence mending. His elevation was expected, because, in the opinion of many, the contest to the throne was mainly between the Emir and Turaki. What is more, in these recent elevations, the third most senior title of Wambai was conferred on Aminu Ado Bayero, the second son of the late Emir leaving Ciroma, the first son lower in hierarchy to the new Wambai. Similarly, the title of Sarkin Dawakin Tsakar Gida which is higher than that of Turakin Kano was conferred on Tafida, Ahmadu Ado Bayero, Turaki’s younger brother, leaving Turaki just like Ciroma out of the arithmetic as mentioned elsewhere in this piece. These actions observers believe, fall short of promoting the harmony and the unity the citizenry expect to see. They are actions that if sustained, could cause division and crack in the late Ado Bayero’s household. Standing together serves the memory of Alhaji Ado Bayero better. Avoiding such tremors will also be of immense benefit even to the Emir himself, considering historical antecedents.
A unified and reconciled family cannot happen by chance. Effort must be made to create it. The Ado Bayero model where all members of the royal house are stake holders should be embraced. The late Ciroma of Kano, the current emir’s father held the title of Ciroma of Kano when Ado Bayero became Emir. Ado Bayero never tampered with his dignity until he died.
Emir Ado Abdullahi Bayero was very visible and adjudged by most Nigerians as one of the most successful Royal fathers this country has ever had. Therefore, it is the citizens’ wish that his pedigree is not tinkered with. Alhaji Ado Bayero was a father, a protector and a defender who provided solace to all. To him, no sacrifice was too much to make in order to guard the interest of the family and that of his people. In truth, it was his personality and poise that elevated the throne of Kano to a larger than life status.
His virtues were turned into a pond which most of the people around the palace today took advantage of and drunk from. It was Ado Bayero who showed the world that royalty is a business of honour and its practice bound by enduring values. I encountered the late Emir Ado in 1990 when as a journalist working in Lagos was asked to travel to Kano to interview him. As we chatted before the commencement of that interview, though he was procedural, he struck me indelibly as a leader whose actions were dictated by abiding faith in public good. It became clear to me as we discussed that he was a connoisseur of wisdom who displayed absolute humility and honest leadership. Up till the time he departed this troubled world, I have not heard anything that changed my impression of this enigma. He remained uncomplicated. May his soul rest in peace.
Abdullahi Musa wrote in from Lagos