Home Opinion Like the balkanization of Kano Emirate like the assault on ASUU

Like the balkanization of Kano Emirate like the assault on ASUU

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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By Bala Ibrahim

Pursuant to my last article on ASUU, captioned, Forsaking the value of knowledge for the vanity of know-how, wherein I accused ASUU of acting at variance with experience and the conventional principles of logic, as usual, I received some responses from the academics, but unlike before, this time around, the reactions came from their matured members.

Those who responded, via private messaging, acted differently from their younger members, who were in the habit of sending insults as if we are cowboys. Almost in unison, all the responses faulted my comparison of what happened in Kano and the present fight between ASUU and the Federal Government.

I hadn’t the intention of extending the discourse, but because of the maturity of the responses, vis a vis the need to refresh history, in order not to mislead the media in the distortion of issues, I felt it righteous to come back.

And am back to show the similarities between what happened in Kano, where the old Kano Emirate was balkanized into 5 Emirates, viz: Bichi, Karaye, Gaya, and Rano, in addition to the Kano Emirate, which was substantially reduced, and what is trying to happen to ASUU.

The drama started in a manner similar to the ASUU scenario, but maybe because of sentiments; some members of ASUU are not seeing it that way.

In a manner reminiscent of the ASUU scenario, a dispute arose between Emir Muhammadu Sunsi 11 and Governor Ganduje of Kano, sometime in 2017, and before you could say, Jack, the story had changed to the probe of the Emirate council’s finances, in an evidently engineered plot by the government to remove the Emir.

All that could be done was done, but I think, ego became a regular visitor to the two camps, and within a short period of time, a bill was sent to the state House of Assembly, seeking the creation of new Emirates and first-class Emirs in Gaya, Rano, Karaye and Bichi. The bill had no difficulty passing through at the House because the governor wants it that way.

Governor Ganduje signed the bill at an elaborate ceremony at the Government House, on the same day it was unanimously passed by the House, thereby creating four more emirates, ending Emir Sanusi’s reign over 44 local governments, and drastically cutting down his powers to only eight local governments.

Although I am a beneficiary of the split, because my hometown was elevated from a District to an Emirate, all the same, I felt bad, that my friend cum father was subdued.

The government did not stop there, it insisted on adhering to the dictates of the amendments in the law, which changed the pattern of the composition of the Emirate councils in all five Emirates.

By the new arrangement, the choice of council members by the Emir is changed, making local government chairmen, secretary to the state government, and five appointees of the governor into the councils. The chairmanship of the council of chiefs would also no longer be permanent, but rotational.

In short, depending on the timetable, Emir Sunusi would be compulsorily compelled to be answerable one day, to any of the new Emirs, which hitherto were subservient to him.

With this development, one needs not to be a soothsayer to see the intent of humiliation in the new arrangement. By the 9th of March 2020, Emir Sanusi was dethroned by Governor Ganduje and banished from the state. That was the end, and a strong statement on the meaning of power in Nigeria, in support of late Abubakar Rimi’s position that:

“A traditional ruler who decides, for whatever reason, to develop a hostile and intransigent attitude against the Government in power, must know that he is going against the people themselves. For a traditional ruler, that is the most unwise thing to do.

“You simply cannot fight Government and win. It never happened anywhere, it would never happen in Kano state.”

If we juxtapose what is happening with ASUU today, including the new government’s innuendo on the need to probe the finances of universities, alongside what happened with Emir Muhammadu Sunusi 11 and the Kano Emirate, we can see that the road to the death of ASUU is clearly signposted.

While the argument of some of my friends in ASUU is that the motive, mission, and reason of ASUU in the strike is different from that between the Emir and the government of Kano, I hasten to tell them that all those nouns they are using are nothing but semantics, the bottom line is that the ego of a government has been challenged.

Like Rimi said, the government would naturally react with the fullest force. Lawyers would say, a reasonable mind would only look at the likely direction of the reaction, which cannot go at variance with the sayings of late Rimi.

Just the way Kano Emirate was balkanized into units because of the “offense” of Emir Sunusi 11, and equal powers and recognition given to the new units, with the creation and recognition of CONUA and NAMDA, ASUU should be ready for more shockers.

In fact, initially, when I saw NAMDA, I thought it was NAFDAC misspelled, and that the government was being too wicked, by asking NAFDAC to take over ASUU.

So take it or leave it, unless there is a change of stance, everything that happened with the old Kano Emirate would surely happen with ASUU in due course.

Go to court? Please ask Emir Sunusi 11. His lawyers on the issue are amongst the best brains in the legal profession of Nigeria today. The Hausa man would say, “In kunne yaji, to jiki ya tsira”.

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