By MUHAMMAD GARBA
On Monday, February 17, a Kano High Court presided over by Justice A. T. Badamasi put to rest the antipathy to the creation of four new Emirates in Kano when he struck out the suit filed by Kano kingmakers to challenge the Kano Emirate Council Law passed in 2019.
Justice Badamasi ruled that the prayer in the Kingmakers’ suit has already been surpassed by event, since the very law they were seeking to reverse was quashed by another High Court in the state presided over by Justice U.M. Na’Abba. For this singular reason, there was no basis, however, to continue the case. And their suit was quashed, because in all intents and purposes, it would have been a grave injury to justice to have continued to regale a case which no longer exists in the face of law.
It could be recalled that Justice Na-Abba had ruled that the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019 was not properly promulgated, insisting that the very law the kingmakers challenged before his court had become a nugatory. The state House of Assembly, in consonance with the Rule of Law and due process, re-convened and enacted another bill to that effect, which was consequently signed into law by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
From the antennae, I was made to understand that the legal team of the aggrieved kingmakers described Justice Badamasi’s ruling as “a technical victory” for Kano state government! What they mean about such description does not bother me in any way, but for every discernable mind, the enactment of the existing Kano Emirate Council Law followed all due process; and no court of competent jurisdiction can fault it.
It will, however, amount to a venture of futility if the kingmakers and their legal team go ahead to approach any other court on this matter. This is so because to those who know the law, Kano state House of Assembly, is vested with the constitutional powers to make laws affecting every organ of the state, including the traditional institutions.
As indicated in one of my articles, for tradition to stand the test of time and move in the same pace with the global world, it must be fine-tuned and restructured in such a way that it can accommodate the development and socio-economic needs of the people. We cannot expect what is obtainable a thousand years ago to remain en vogue today. We must move on and be in the same page with the world of today.
Discernable minds will agree with me that already, the creation of the four new emirates has continued to yield positive results. For one thing, it has motivated the dissuasion of rural migration. Investors, both local and foreign, are moving into the new emirates, exploring the huge investment opportunities in those domains. Just recently, a son of the soil, Honourable Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila established the first indigenous private university—Al-Istiqamah University in Sumaila Local Government Area of the Gaya Emirate. His decision to make such a huge investment in that area was encouraged by the creation of the Gaya Emirate. Then, one will begin to appreciate the kind of development such university will attract in that area.
Late last year, Kano State Executive Council approved the sum of N2, 543, 819, 588.67 billion for the construction and upgrading works at the four health facilities in the newly created Emirate headquarters of Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye. This include the construction of Accident and Emergency Ward, 22- Bed Medical Ward, Eye Centre, ENT Clinic, Dental Clinic, Physiotherapy, Laboratory units, Mortuary Block, construction of road network etc.
More so, there is no gainsaying the fact that these new Emirates have added value to various youth empowerment progarmmes; free, compulsory basic and secondary education policy; scholarship programmes; and various human development initiatives embarked upon by Governor Ganduje’s administration.
It is this kind of development that people of these areas have been yearning for years. In fact, the centralization of development programmes which makes Kano a city state, informed the creation of Jigawa out of old Kano state and by extension creation and appointment of five new First Class Emirs. Development recorded in these Emirates is for everyone to see. That was why giving in to this popular demand of the people by the Ganduje administration is paving the way for the decentralization of development in the state.
So, instead of building empty castle in the sky, the kingmakers and others opposing the creation of the new Emirates should keep aside whatever personal grievances they are nursing over what has happened and contribute positively to the development of Kano state, because the four new Emirates in Kano have come to stay. In my previous articles, I have consistently maintained that these Emirates did not just emanate from Governor Ganduje. They have been in existence and what the governor did was to give them legal backing as desired by the people.
The creation of new Emirates in Kano should not be misconstrued as a move to ‘dismantle’ the Kano Emirate and its rich cultural heritage, rather, it is a well-articulated move to expand Kano cultural heritage and take development directly to the people.
The court has validated it because it is a matter of law and due process. As a law-abiding leader and citizen, Governor Ganduje does not have the powers to revert the already created and established Emirates of Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya.
To my understanding, Governor Ganduje has no personal grudges against the Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II. He has continued to maintain a cordial relationship with him. And to demonstrate this in all sincerity, Governor Ganduje has graciously appointed the Emir of Kano as the chairman, Kano Council of Chiefs. I personally hold the revered Emir of Kano to high esteem. So, we expect him to assume his exalted position as the chairman of the Council. For the sake of the development of our great state, we expect Emir Sanusi to convene the first meeting of Kano Council of Chiefs and use his wealth of experience to show leadership.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the four new First Class Emirs respect him and will always be ready to work with him. As a revered Royal Father, it is now for Emir Sanusi to show true reconciliation, abide strictly by the new law and allow peace and harmony to reign in Kano. Governor Ganduje has been so patient and kind enough by giving Emir Sanusi enough time to re-think and also allow the rule of law to prevail. I so much doubt if the state government will wait any longer in consolidating the new Emirates as well as the full implementation of the new law.
Governor Ganduje has nothing personal to gain in all this exercise. What he has done was in line with his desire and ambition to take Kano to the Next Level. Where ever there is peace and harmony, development reigns. We should all forsake our individual differences and join hands with Governor Ganduje in his effort to transform our dear state—Kano to a real Mega City.
Garba is the Commissioner for Information, Kano state