Sanusi’s Return: A dramatic reinstatement to Kano’s royal throne


In a dramatic turn of events, the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, was reinstated to the throne on Thursday, four years after being deposed and banished from the state by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

This unexpected move followed the assent of the new Emirate Law by current Governor Abba Yusuf, who signed the legislation passed by the Kano House of Assembly just a day earlier.

The reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II marks a significant reversal of the previous administration’s policies. Under former Governor Ganduje, the Assembly had amended the existing law to increase the number of first-class emirs from one to five, a change that led to Sanusi’s deposition. The new law, however, repeals the creation of the additional emirates – Rano, Karaye, Bichi, and Gaya – and returns Kano to its traditional single-emirate system.

The Kano State Emirate Council (Amendment No. 2) Law, 2024, not only dismantles the four new emirates but also reinstates Sanusi to his former position. The five emirs appointed by the Ganduje administration now find themselves without emirates to govern. Governor Yusuf has ordered these dethroned emirs to hand over all emirate properties to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Comrade Aminu Abdussalam, who also serves as the deputy governor.


Deputy Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly, Hon. Muhammad Butu-Butu, explained that the repeal of the law aimed to restore the lost glory of Kano. He argued that dividing the emirate into five parts had diminished the state’s stature at the national level. The majority leader, Alhaji Lawan Hussaini Dala, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the Emirate Council is a custodian of culture, which was disrupted by the creation of the additional emirates.

As the Assembly moves forward, it has adopted a motion to create new second-class emirate councils, which will operate under the reinstated Emir of Kano. Deliberations on this matter are scheduled for Friday.

In a notable historical context, this is the first instance of such dramatic shifts in Kano’s emirate history. Although the late Emir Ado Bayero was once suspended by then-Governor Abubakar Rimi, no new emir was appointed during his suspension, and he was later reinstated.

Governor Yusuf’s decision to reinstate Sanusi comes just days before his one-year anniversary in office, marking a significant and controversial move. Reports suggest that the governor hastened the signing of the law to preclude opponents from obtaining a court order that might prevent its implementation. Sanusi was quickly flown from an investment summit in Rivers State to Kano, amidst heavy security presence, to preempt any legal or physical attempts to block his return to the palace.

The events have captivated Nigerians, showcasing the intense drama and political maneuvering within the Kano royal house. Governor Yusuf has been on a mission to reverse many of his predecessor’s decisions since winning the 2023 elections, with Sanusi’s reinstatement being the most notable action to date.


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