Kano Emirate tussle : How Sanusi, Bayero became roommates for 10 years

Few are aware of the intricate connections within Kano’s royal family, where key figures share close familial ties. When Emir Ado Bayero passed away in 2014, a fierce battle for succession ensued between his sons and Lamido Sanusi.

Ultimately, Lamido Sanusi, the grandson of former Emir Muhammadu Sanusi I, emerged victorious and was crowned on June 9, 2014. His ascension sparked widespread protests from supporters of Sanusi Ado Bayero, the late emir’s son and Chiroman Kano (Crown Prince).

In his acceptance speech after receiving the staff of office from then-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, former CBN Governor Sanusi dismissed rumours of disunity within the royal family. “The Kano Emir Palace is one united family,” Sanusi affirmed, insisting that the protests were not instigated by his relatives. He emphasized the family’s understanding that the position of emir is determined by divine will.

Sanusi highlighted his deep personal ties to the late Emir Ado Bayero, revealing that he married Bayero’s daughter and was raised under his care, closer to him than to his own father, who lived abroad.

However, Sanusi’s tenure as emir faced significant challenges, with the Kano Emirate divided into five, reducing his influence. Five first-class emirs for the new Bichi, Rano, Karaye, Gaya, and Kano emirates were appointed after the amendment of the Emirates Council Law. Subsequently, Sanusi was dethroned on charges of insubordination.

The new emirs included two sons of the late emir: Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero (Emir of Kano) and Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero (Emir of Bichi), among others. In a surprising turn, Governor Abba Yusuf later reversed Ganduje’s decisions, dismissing the emirs appointed by Ganduje and reinstating Sanusi to the throne.

Despite the political turmoil, the bond between the Bayeros and Sanusi II remained unbroken. Sanusi recounted how he shared the same bed with Nasiru Ado Bayero, the deposed Emir of Bichi, for over a decade. “We call on outsiders to stop meddling in matters they don’t understand,” Sanusi admonished.

Nasiru Ado Bayero confirmed this close relationship in an interview with Daily Trust, reminiscing about their longstanding friendship. “Sanusi is about three years older than me, but we were friends from the start. We grew up together,” Bayero said. He described how Sanusi moved into his small room in the palace, where they shared meals and daily routines, exemplifying the close-knit nature of the royal family.

“Our friendship was a case study in the palace,” Bayero reflected, noting that their fathers had also been best friends. “Late Ciroma Aminu Sunusi and my father were very close, and my father was his (Emir Sunusi’s) uncle,” he added, underscoring the enduring bonds that unite Kano’s royal lineage.

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