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Intense security presence as Kano Emirates Council Law advances to first reading

Tight security arrangements were observed at the Kano House of Assembly on Wednesday as armed personnel from the police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were stationed at strategic locations.

This heightened security presence coincided with the commencement of discussions on amending the State Emirates Council law, which originally established five Emirates.

The proposed amendment, known as the Kano State Emirates Council (Amendment number 2) Law, 2024 (1445AH), was introduced for its first reading by Lawan Hussaini Chediyar Yan Gurasa, the majority leader and representative of Dala constituency.

Journalists covering the proceedings were required to verify their identities before gaining entry, while access to the assembly complex was restricted with roadblocks.

The Kano State Emirates Council Law of 2019, which initially designated five new Emirates, received assent from former Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on December 5, 2019. Subsequent amendments to the law were endorsed by the governor on October 14, 2020, and April 11, 2023.

Section 3(1) of the law established 5 distinct Emirates of Kano, Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye with Kano and Karaye having 8 local government areas of jurisdiction each, while Bichi and Gaya Emirates share 9 local government areas of jurisdiction each, Rano emirate enjoys jurisdiction over 10 local government areas out of the 44 local councils in the state.

Section 4 of the law established the state council of chiefs membership of which include the 5 emirs, secretary to the state government, commissioner for local governments and 5 chairmen with one each from the Emirates as well as 10 kingmakers and representatives from the business community and the security agencies and not more than two appointees by the governor.

Section 5 provides for chairmanship of the council of chiefs which shall rotational among the emirs.

At the time emir Muhammad Sanusi, who chaired the council, was deposed on March 9, 2020, the law was amended to read “There shall be the chairman of the council whom shall be the emir, Kano emirate”.

Section 10 provides that the council shall perform the functions assigned to it by the governor and shall have the power to appoint district, village and ward heads and can suspend or dismiss same.

Section 11 provides that ” upon death or resignation or deposition of any emir the governor may in consultation with the council of chiefs appoint a successor of such emir out of persons nominated in that behalf by the kingmakers of the affected emirate”.

The law also states that where the kingmakers failed to nominate a successor within 3 days the governor may himself appoint such person from the heirs to the throne as he may deem fit.

Section 12 provides that the governor may grade the office of an emir first, second, third class subject to the approval of the state house of assembly.

Section 13 provides that the governor, after due inquiry and consultation with council of chiefs, may depose of such emir if he is satisfied that deposition is required in accordance with tradition or where the emir intentionally fails to attend meetings of the council for 3 consecutive days without valid excuse or he commits act of gross misconduct or abuse of office or immorality.

A principal officer of the Assembly, who does not want his name mentioned, told Daily Trust, that ‘no Jupiter can stop the assembly from amending the law.’

“We were ready for this longtime ago and Only God can stop this amendment. We wanted all these emirs to go 20 days after this administration was inaugurated but here we are. So, tomorrow (Thursday), there will be a special session of the assembly to consider and pass the amendment”, the lawmaker said.

However, minority of the assembly Abdul Labaran Madari has told BBC Hausa that 12 APC members in the assembly were not opposed to the amendment provided none of the five Emirates would be dissolved and the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, would not be deposed and replaced with Muhammad Sanusi.

He said though the NNPP lawmakers in the assembly have the numbers to effect the amendment, the opposition members would ventilate their opposition.

Madari said the ruling party had perfected its plan to dissolve Bichi Emirate as well as reinstate deposed Emir Sanusi.

The other emirates, he said, would be left with three local government areas of jurisdiction each.

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