Why I accepted Sanusi after his dethronement, by Nasarawa governor
Describes Loko as historical town
“Immediately [Muhammadu Sanusi II] was deposed, the governor of Kano State called me and said ‘we have removed the Emir and we are thinking of sending him to your state, if you will accept him.’ I said why not; he is a highly respected person.”
That was the conversation between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and his Nasarawa counterpart, Abdullahi Sule, when the 14th Emir of Kano was dethroned and banished to Loko in Nasarawa State.
Sule told newsmen in Lagos that he was not privy to the discussions that preceded the deposition of Sanusi. He disclosed that prior to the misunderstanding between the Kano governor and the deposed emir, he had enjoyed close working relations with the latter, adding: “When I was Managing Director of Dangote Industry, he was Group Managing Director of First Bank Plc and we operated as colleagues at the corporate level.”
The Nasarawa governor explained that as a son of a traditional ruler, “I know what obtains in the emirate council and the respect accorded to the emir.”
When the former emir went to Loko, which was the hometown of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who had been a Commissioner of Education, the SSG vacated his house for the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor.
“Also when he (Sanusi) was relocated to Awe, the council chairman vacated his house and did some renovations before the ex-emir’s arrival. That is the height of respect.”
On why Nasarawa has become haven for deposed emirs, Sule said he was peeved when some people, out of ignorance, said Sanusi was deported to a backward village in Nasarawa, stressing that because of poor knowledge of history, a lot of people did not know the importance of Loko town from the colonial times.
The governor said: “I think we were not in the politics of the removal of the emir, what led to his removal and all that. Nasarawa is seen as one of the border states between the deep north and south of Nigeria.
“When Plateau and Nasarawa were together as one state, whenever a Christian governor emerged from the northern part, the lower part presented a Muslim deputy. A lot of the major cities in Nasarawa, like Keffi, identify with the deep north. Lafia, for instance, identifies with Borno, and Nasarawa with other states.”
He recalled that during the colonial era, Loko was the port of destination of barges and boats bringing consignments for international trading firms like Lever Brothers, John Holt and Leventis, adding that it was a major historical town and not a remote area as some commentators said.When Sanusi’s grandfather was dethroned in 1953, it was to another historical town called Azare that had no water, electricity or road, he noted.