Did the All Progressives Congress, APC, push for the emergence of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the new Emir of Kano?
Suggestions to that effect were rife yesterday because of the heavy presence of chieftains of the party in Kano, following the death of Emir Ado Bayero.
Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano State, who joined the party last November, Vanguard learnt, came under serious pressure from the APC chieftains who stayed over after the burial of the late emir.
Yesterday, senior party officials were jubilant over the emergence of a renowned critic of President Goodluck Jonathan as the traditional ruler of the city with the highest number of votes in Northern Nigeria.
“It is a welcome development,” a member of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party said yesterday, on the condition of anonymity pending an official party reaction by party spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The deputy national secretary of the party, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai was ecstatic yesterday tweeting “SLS (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) is the Emir of Kano. Jonathanians can go jump into the lagoon.”
Besides being the traditional ruler of the town with the highest number of votes, the Kano emirate also wields major influence over the Northern region and across the country.
Sanusi as emir is not expected to project the interest of President Goodluck Jonathan who removed him from office as CBN governor four months before the expiration of his term.
The APC delegation in Kano was said to have mounted pressure on Governor Kwankwanso in favour of Mallam Sanusi.
The delegation was led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and included the 2011 presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senators Bukola Saraki and Danjuma Goje, Governors Rotimi Amaechi, Aliyu Wamakko and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Rivers, Sokoto and Kwara states, respectively, former national chairman of the new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, and erstwhile national chairman of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP.
The delegation reportedly came into Kano late on Saturday and remained till Sanusi was announced as emir by Governor Kwankwanso, yesterday.
The delegation, according to sources, met privately with Kwankwanso and subsequently with the former CBN governor.
Before the private meeting with Governor Kwankwanso, Tinubu, during a courtesy call on the Kano governor in his office, said that his delegation was in Kano to commiserate with the government and people of the state, adding that “Nigeria has lost a bridge builder,” in the person of the late Bayero.
Shortly after the courtesy call, the governor ushered them into his private office where they held a marathon meeting that supposedly culminated in the announcement of Sanusi as the new emir.
As CBN gov
Though the new Emir of Kano had in the past claimed to be apolitical, his last minute actions as CBN governor, and notably, the allegation of a missing N49 billion from oil receipts, pricked the Jonathan administration.
When he returned to Nigeria from Niger Republic where he went to represent Nigeria at a regional meeting of central bank governors, Sanusi was received in Lagos by the deputy national secretary of APC, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
Sanusi, who maintains a home in Lagos and has fraternised with the Lagos political class since his school days in the nation’s former commercial capital, also has strong relations with some members of the APC national executive, including Mallam El-Rufai.
El-Rufai, noting the faux pas by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, earlier in the day when it released a statement congratulating a son of the late emir as successor, had disparaged PDP on his Facebook page.
He wrote: “The PDP, out of fear and hatred of my brother SLS (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) began circulating the falsehood that someone else had been appointed Emir of Kano.
“Then they congratulated the Emir that had not been selected by the constituted authority.
“Earlier, they had enlisted several PDP sympathiser-traditional rulers to put pressure on Governor Kwankawaso to discourage him from selecting SLS, who was recommended on merit among the aspirants by the king-makers.”