An elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has said traditional rulers must learn to respect and subject themselves to political authorities if they want to sustain the heritage of their offices.
He was reacting to the whittling down of Emir Muhammad Sanusi’s influence through the creation of four additional emirates in Kano State.
Naija News recalls that Governor Umar Ganduje on Saturday installed four new emirs for Bichi, Rano, Karaye, and Gaya following a new law passed by the state legislature splitting the Kano emirate.
Reacting, Yakasai said the splitting of Kano was bound to happen whether Gov. Ganduje oversaw it or not.
“Well, I think that if you can remember, after the election of the Peoples Redemption Party in Kano in 1979, in between that period and 1982, the government of Abubakar Rimi, with the full support of his leader, our leader, Mallam Aminu Kano, created new emirates out of the existing one.
“And actually, the majority of the emirates created then were already autonomous administrative units long before the advent of the British colonialists. For instance, Rano is older than Kano. Gaya itself is older than Kano.
“What I am saying is that the existence of at least two or more of the additional emirates created by Alhaji Abubakar Rimi predated the creation of Kano Emirate.
“This event of the last few days (the creation of additional Emirates) in my opinion was bound to come sooner or later.
“You must cast your mind back to the factors that gave rise to it before in the 80s. What made them do that? Even in Sokoto and Borno states, there is the same feeling for the creation of additional Emirates.
“I think that the sooner the traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria or in Nigeria as a whole begin to realize that there is a superior authority; if people who are inferior to them in authority are willing to submit themselves to them, they, in turn, should be prepared to submit themselves to a higher authority.
“This has been the problem in Northern Nigeria since the introduction of democracy in Nigeria. This is what led to the misunderstanding between the grandfather of the present Emir, and Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduna of Sokoto and the Premier of Northern Nigeria.
“The trouble between both men was caused by the issue of accepting a higher authority or subordinating your own authority to a higher authority,” he told the Sun newspaper.
On what the position of Kano elders to the situation was before it got out of hand, Yakasai said: “I understand that some of the elders of Kano State made representation to the governor of the state, before it happened and his response to them was that when the Emir was showing acts of insubordination to him and to his administration was the time that they would have tried to intervene because they ought to have realized that the kind of situation was bound to happen.
“This was the answer he gave them, so I was told. And I would like to say that elders in Kano or in any part of Nigeria should try to be objective and straightforward: Tell the truth wherever it is necessary. Not damn the consequences, do it through diplomacy.
“There is a way you can still say the truth without earning the anger of anybody. I think our leaders and elders should begin to learn to talk and speak out, not when it is already too late.”