Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso said yesterday that his life is under threat. President Goodluck Jonathan should be held responsible, if anything happens to him and his family, he told reporters in Abuja.
He also said the President would be accountable for any breakdown of law and order in Kano State over the choice of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Emir.
Kwankwaso said All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders did not dictate to him who to appoint, adding that Sanusi’s choice was final.
Kwankwaso said contrary to the Presidency’s posture, Sanusi’s choice was popular.
“I want to say that I think they are playing a lot of games. We don’t know their intention; we don’t know what they are going to do next,” the governor said, adding: “But I have to say, like all other people in this country, everybody is concerned about the insecurity. On the other hand, our lives are in the hands of Almighty God.
But the bottom line is we have seen a signal or a sign that there is a level of mischief coming from other places. And I want to put it on record that whatever happens to me, my family and my state, Jonathan should be held responsible.
“We have enough crises in this country and when Kano boils it would be a big problem for this country. He should thank us for working with the security agencies to ensure peace.
“But now we are seeing an attempt by them to induce crises because of Sanusi, our choice and because we have done our duty as stipulated in the law. And as I told the six contenders, I wish I had more than one slot to give but in this case, there is only one slot that had to be filled and that is it. It is not the duty of the PDP or the Presidency to approve such appointment and if there is the post of the Emir of Nigeria, let them appoint that one and leave us alone.”
The governor gave an insight into how Sanusi was appointed the Emir.
He said: You know the issue of the installation of an Emir in Kano has not happened since the appointment of the first governor of the state, Audu Bako, who was appointed in 1967. You can see that this appointment is entirely new to most of us. In fact, among the four kingmakers, who nominated Sanusi Lamido as an emir, only one participated in the selection of the late Emir, Ado Bayero. So, when I came back to Kano on Saturday since I did not want to give room for speculations and mischief-making, I decided to invite the four kingmakers and sat down with them and asked them to brief me, especially the only one who participated in the selection of the late emir. They briefed me and I asked them to go back and consult and they came back the following day on a Sunday and told me their position.
“Of course, when I asked them to go back and consult, mischief-makers started their mischief. Before they came on Sunday we started seeing on television and hearing on radio and television that the Peoples Democratic Party people as a ruling party of the Federal Government decided to appoint a new emir.
“And that was what started the whole confusion and when my attention was drawn to it I quickly asked the commissioner for Information to ask the radio and television stations to stop the broadcast of the false and misleading announcement. We sat down with the kingmakers and from the list that we received from them, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the best and number one on the list and from the recommendations, the governor had every reason to choose from among the list of candidates recommended.
“In fact, in some cases, the governor has the right to reject from the list and make his own but in this case the kingmakers made the selection and the governor only affirmed what they did in accordance with tradition of the kingdom.
“So we made our own announcement and you can see that the stage was already being set by the mischief makers under the direction of the Federal Government and at the end of the day confusion started. And the hawks that the Federal Government used in Kano started meeting in Kano from that Sunday and they began to demonstrate, burning tyres, destroying the good work that we have done, ranging from billboards to traffic light, trees and flowers. In fact, the bridge we built was attacked. They removed so many things from the flyover we constructed.
“I believe that what they did is wrong. But the fact of the matter, in my own opinion, is that the President does not know where the powers of Mr. President start and where they end. There are certain things that are within the purview of the President. Some things are under the local government, others within the state and others for the Federal Government. The mistake they made here was that they decided rather too early to dislike or kick us out of anything the Federal Government is doing, not considering that we are important in our own way. In politics, everyone is important, including the one in my village.
“Even a villager is important where every vote counts because you can lose election by one vote and you can also win by one vote against your opponent.
“We have been advising the President to bring all the governors together but you will remember what the President did when Governor Amaechi won the election and the President decided to recognise the minority and refused to talk to us and said that we are not important. We have evidence to prove that money was given to non-APC governors to show that they are more important.”
Kwankwaso said the President had acted in bad faith since Sanusi was announced as the Emir.
He said: “In this case, I was expecting Jonathan to call me or to advise me whether he was comfortable or not comfortable with any of the six candidates, who had shown interest in the stool. That the President did not do, but engaged hawks, rotten eggs that we have in Kano; those who are being rejected by our people over the years and decided to go and cause the confusion.
“The selection of an emir has nothing to do with the Presidency or the Federal Government of Nigeria; it is purely a state government affair. We heard so many stories, including the fact that they should go and withdraw my security and still instigate some young men to go and burn the Government House and they tried that and we mobilised our people to protect us.
“The initial instruction they gave was that all my security men should be withdrawn but later on they reduced it to half. We thank the Almighty God that we are still alive and we thank the Almighty God that there is minimum destruction of property and many people were injured and it was purely done by those who announced the first decision of the Federal Government concerning the selection of a new emir.
“But the truth is that the more I think of the appointment of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the more I feel comfortable and happy because all the people who are friends to Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, the government and the good people of Kano State are very happy with his selection because he is qualified by all standards-educational standard, Islamic education and a proud grandson and son of an emir and all the qualities needed to appoint an emir, Sanusi Lamido has all of them in abundance. I believe he is the best.
“The truth is that some few people may not be happy with him and they want to do everything possible to create tension and crisis in the state but they seem to forget that crisis is not good for anybody, especially leaders, because you can start it but you don’t know how it will end.
“We are a state government and are determined to ensure that peace reigns in the state. We are appealing to them to stop and allow Kano to remain in peace because we want a peaceful Kano. We have seen situations in the past where the government at various levels, especially at the federal level tried to squeeze the government at the state level and the outcome has never been the best for the country. We are politicians and we are working hard to ensure that our states are not on fire and certainly we will not fold our arms to watch that and we have one thousand and one ways of handling issues and I hope that they will understand so that we can work together for the peace and stability of this country.
“This country has sufficient crises now, going by what is happening in the Northeast and the North in general and I don’t think we need additional crisis.
Asked if he was really under pressure from APC, Kwankwaso said his party leaders made no input into the choice of Emir Sanusi.
He added: “For those who know me, they know that nobody can put me under any pressure. By the grace of God, we have unlimited capacity to do things and I also go with my conscience and conviction in doing what I am doing. If something is right, it is right and I will go ahead to do it whether it has to do with my party or not. If something is wrong it is wrong and I will not do it, no matter who is involved.
“I can assure you that even in APC people have got different opinions about Sanusi. Some support him, others don’t. So, it is not true that all members of APC back Sanusi. But the truth is that most of the people support Sanusi because he is qualified to become the emir of Kano.
“In all items, he emerged number one and, therefore, it is not right for anyone to say that there was any political consideration in his emergence.
“Maybe one can say that we need someone who is qualified to do the job and do it very well. In that wise, Sanusi is not only a known figure in Nigeria and Kano but is also an international figure.
“I have been receiving calls from across the world congratulating me for the decision. And this is the sort of person you need as an emir-somebody who can project the image of the state and stand by the right thing and is contented with what he has-and not somebody who will be going to beg for alms from them.”
The governor denied using Sanusi’s appointment as a bait to secure the presidential ticket of APC.
He said: “Sanusi is not a member of our party, even though he is a progressive person, who wants to see progress in this country. I am sure Kano will reap from his wealth of his experience.
“In all, six people showed interest. Three were recommended and presented and Sanusi was on the top of the list and as a result, we picked him.
“But let me tell you, that is not even the issue: the governor has the right to take number one, two or three or reject all and call for a fresh list. That is the position and nobody under the law can go and dictate to the state what it should do in appointing an emir.
“The problem we are facing is that we are not in PDP because recently there was vacancy in Gombe and nobody instigated any violence when the new emir was chosen. What they don’t know is that they are the absolute minority.”
Asked whether he has received petition from any of the princes against the selection of the Emir, Kwankwaso said: “Petition against what? If the man is not qualified you can say so and we look at the requirements. But he is one of the six that applied and he was recommended and I approved and where is the problem and what is the basis of the petition?”