Nigerians home and abroad were recently greeted with the news of the dethronement of one of the most important Emirs in the Northern Nigeria, Muhammed Sanusi 11,who were until recently the Emir of the Kano Emirate in the Northern part of Nigeria. The Emir who was deposed by the Kano State Government on March 9, 2020 for what it called “insubordination and disrespect” to the Kano State Government Authorities has had frosty relations with Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje since 2017.
While many believe he was sacked for opposing Mr Ganduje’s re-election last year and for speaking truth to power, Global Advocacy for African Affairs reacting to the incident called for a clear separation of politics from Africa’s well established and respected traditional institutions. Speaking to news men at its Abuja, Nigeria office on Tuesday March 10, 2020, The Executive Director of the Africa’s leading development advocacy organization, Chrys Anyanwu queried the rational of the constitutional provisions which confers on the Executive Governor of a state who is clearly a politician and a member of a particular political party the authority to appoint, manipulate and dethrone traditional institutions at will.
He recalled how traditional authority used to be a distinguishing feature in the land scape of contemporary Africa. “In many African countries, traditional leadership remains important in organizing the lives of the people at the local level despite modern state structures. Traditional leaders’ delivers essential modern services that African states do not always succeed in delivering. They act as intermediary between the government and the local population; and they are often a local force to reckon with; wielding a local and general influence in their own communities due to their control over resources and people.”
He frowned at the whole politicisation of this highly revered institution which he said followed the political independence of many African countries where many African governments saw chiefs as threats to their powers and impediments to the modernization and nation building and tried to curtail their role in local governments and national politics.
According to him, this has gotten worse by the day following the bastardization of our political space. Traditional rulers are now being seen as appointees of the governors who also demands loyalty from them. This according to him ought not to be
The organization therefore advise Nigerian government and by extension other African governments to see the Kano situation as an opportunity to strengthen the traditional institutions in Africa by revisiting the laws setting up and also guiding these institutions with a view to harnessing the full benefit of these very important institutions.