Alhaji Tijjani Mailafiya Sanka is the Special Adviser on the newly constituted council of Emirs in Kano State, a similar position he held in Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s administration. In this interview, Sanka speaks about the feud between the state government and the emirate among other issues.
It is assumed that the creation of the four new Kano emirates was political. Don’t you think another administration would want to reverse the situation?
This is very wrong thinking that I believe has no room for consideration. This was done based on popular demand from the people to the state House of Assembly which coincided with the present Kano State administration of ensuring positive development for its people, especially those in the remote areas.
The state House of assembly deliberated over the bill and passed it for the state governor’s approval. This was done before the bill was passed into law.
I don’t think any right-thinking government would want to reverse the people’s demand, because the law came into existence based on what the people want and it will only go when they say they don’t want it which I am sure will not happen.
Is it right to say the process was politically motivated?
No, it is not right. There is nothing like politics or vendetta to it. There is no personal motive to suppress or depress any individual or group of individuals. This is purely based on people’s demand and for the development of these people. Thank God the majority have started to see the rationale behind the creation of these additional four first-class emirates in Kano State.
A lot of things have started to change for the better and nothing was done out of constitutional provision. If you can remember, before 1991 when Jigawa State was created out of old Kano state, there were other first-class emirates in the state. Hadejia, Kazaure and Gumel were all first-class emirates in old Kano state, and we were all doing fine. Therefore, having newly upgraded emirates in the state wasn’t something new and it was done in good faith, to ensure development activities have been widely spread and also reached our people at the grassroots.
Is your office aware of the current accusations and counter-accusations between the state government’s anti-corruption agency and Kano emirate?
Though this is purely an affair of the concerned agency and I believe an investigation is ongoing on the issues. My office is aware of the issue and I am certain that justice is being done in the whole processes. However, to the best of my knowledge, the issue is being handled by professionals who know their job very well.
My office is aware and we have advised that the whole issue should be conducted in line with laid down rules and regulations.
What is your view on the agitation that the creation of the new emirates has distorted a lot of traditional activities in the state?
Nothing has been distorted, as I have stated earlier, this is not a new thing because before 1991 there were four emirates in old Kano state and no traditional activity was said to have been affected by that. The same thing applies presently; every emir conducts his traditional activities within his emirate territory.
For instance, last year we all witnessed how the Sallah festivities were conducted in all the five emirates in Kano State, nothing has changed.
Is it true that there is an existing feud between Kano State government and Kano emirate?
None that I know of. There were a lot of stories going on from different people and if there is anything of such I am sure I am in a better position to know. I have not been officially notified, written or verbal.
To discount all the rumour, recently His Royal Highness the Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II and his friend the Oba of Benin paid an official visit to Governor Ganduje to congratulate him on his Supreme Court victory. This shows there is no feud between the two. None that I know of.
What should the people of Kano expect after the creation of these four new emirates?
The traditional institution has been a very vital factor in the life of the people of Kano State; their confidence and commitment in the traditional institution have no boundary. Therefore, the creation of these emirates has given hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to be closer to their traditional leaders, and also the bureaucratic bottlenecks attached to having access to their traditional leaders have been removed completely.
Similarly, all these four emirates have been in existence for quite a long time; some as old as Kano State emirate and their elevation has opened a lot of development opportunities to the areas in terms of access roads, basic health facilities and educational opportunities among other developmental issues.
What is the difference between your present position and the one you held during Kwankwaso’s administration?
There could be some differences but the concept is still the same because previously we worked together with the present Kano State governor when he was the deputy governor. There are not many changes in terms of government commitment only that, presently there are a lot of developments in the sector as more emirates have emerged.
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