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In Lagos, Sanusi’s residence bubbles

Pastor Tunde Bakare during his visit
Pastor Tunde Bakare during his visit

Today is exactly one week that the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammdu Sanusi II arrived Lagos after securing his freedom from banishment in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Daily Trust on Saturday examines the activities of Sanusi since arrival in Lagos and how he is taking his deposition.

On Monday March 9, the Kano State Executive Council dethroned\ the Emir of Kano and banished him to Nasarawa. The deposition of the Emir came after over two years of being at loggerheads with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, prompting several queries and probe over allegations of misappropriation of the Emirate’s funds.

According to the Secretary to the State Government,  who signed the statement announcing the deposition, Sanusi was dethroned for being “in total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the state governor and other lawful authorities, including his persistent refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organised by the government without any lawful justification which amounts to total insubordination.”

The deposition of the Emir ended the six-year reign of Sanusi as the 14th Fulani emir of Kano as the government immediately announced the appointment of Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the son of the 13th Emir as the new Sarkin Kano.

Sanusi began his journey to Nasarrawa State where he was banished. He was initially billed to stay in Loko but he barely spent a night as he was moved to Awe the following day.

However, Sanusi’s legal team led by A B Mahmud, SAN, held a press conference describing the deposition and subsequent banishment of the Emir as illegal.

Mahmud also disclosed that Sanusi wanted to go to Lagos and not Nasarawa where he was banished to.

Sanusi’s lawyers however filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja to challenge the banishment. The court subsequently granted an interim order releasing the deposed Emir from house arrest.

The court’s verdict marked the beginning of another phase for the deposed Emir as he left Awe to Lagos, the state of his dream. Prior to departing Awe, he had received a personality who can best be described as his best friend and “consoler-in-chief.” That was Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State who, immediately after his deposition, announced the appointment of Sanusi as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Kaduna Investment and Promotion Agency (KADIPA). Again, 24 hours after,  the governor gave Sanusi another appointment as the Chancellor of the Kaduna State University,  the position usually reserved for royal fathers.

From day one after his deposition, El-Rufai had truly proved to be a true ally and a friend “in need.”

And straight from Awe, El-Rufai accompanied Sanusi to Nasarawa Government House where they met with the state governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule. From Nasarawa, Sanusi headed straight to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja also in company of El-Rufai en route the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

After a long day of journeying from Awe to Lafia and then to Abuja, Sanusi landed at one of the private hangars of the MMIA in the late hours of Friday at about 11:40 p.m where he was received by family members and some of his close friends. Among them was the Senior Pastor of Trinity Church, Mike Ighodalo who prayed for him inside a private lounge at Quits Aviation Terminal before departing the airport.

  Sanusi flanked by Governor Nasir el-Rufai and NBA boss, Hadiza Bala Usman during their visit
Sanusi flanked by Governor Nasir el-Rufai and NBA boss, Hadiza Bala Usman during their visit

Pastor Ighodalo prayed that God would to open another door for Sanusi, declaring that his deposition would be a step to a higher pedestal.

He said: “When one door shuts, you open another one and what people meant for evil will always turn to good. So we thank you for the safe return of your son, our Emir, our brother, our father, our husband, our uncle. We thank you for keeping him; we thank you for not putting him to shame. We thank you that you are going to make something good out of this.

“We pray for Nigeria. We ask that Nigeria will change. We ask that Nigeria will accept the truth. We ask that Nigeria will be great again….”

With the spiritual welcome to Lagos, the land of aquatic splendor which can be regarded as his (Sanusi’s) home having attended the prestigious King’s College in Lagos, the deposed Emir started a new life; an important phase of his life after his deposition.

Since his arrival into Lagos, his residence at the Victoria Island has been bustling with many visitors paying solidarity visit to the deposed Emir.

Like one of his aides said, the solidarity has been very enormous with prominent personalities paying visit to him.

On arrival to Lagos, El-Rufai was still visible with his friend. After a programme that Saturday in Lagos, El-Rufai before leaving Lagos paid a visit to the deposed Emir in company of the Presiding Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, among others.

Since then, his house has been a Mecca of   sorts where he receives visitors on a daily basis coming to identify with him on his deposition.

Among the high profile visitors was the Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwanu Akiolu who came with a long list of dignitaries. The Chairman of Ovation Group, Chief Dele Momodu, was also in Sanusi’s residence.

Also, members of the Lagos Area Council of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) were also at his residence. Similarly, during the week, Mai Girma Dan Amar Kano Alhaji Aliyu Harazimi and Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar paid a courtesy visit to the residence.

Mr. Munir Sanusi, his Chief of Staff, said the house has continued to receive visitors since he arrived in Lagos.

The love and solidarity in Lagos seem to have made him to forget the past and move on, a source said. He was scheduled to chair the convocation lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU) next week before the convocation was suspended because of the ravaging coronavirus.

Sanusi, in a video which recently went viral hinted about moving on without challenging the deposition, saying the bottom line was that he desired to become an Emir and he achieved it.

“For me I am proud of the years I have put in just like I was proud of the years I put in at the Central Bank and I am sure that there would be many more things I would be proud of doing going forward so long as we have life and health which is what we pray for.

“You can always say this is an ex-president, this is an ex-governor, this is an ex-Commissioner. You can’t say this is an ex-intellectual, this is an ex-intelligent person, and this is an ex-educated person. There are certain things that I hold and I cherish. These are things that can never be taken away from me. I wanted to be Emir and Alhamdulillahi I was and it is there in the record. What happened today is not important when you are dealing with an institution like the Emir. It is when the history of Kano is being written over the next 50 years or 100 years….what are you going to be remembered for?”

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