Barely 24 hours after the death of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, two members of the Sanusi dynasty, the Wamban Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi; and his nephew, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), are neck on neck in the race to become the next Emir.
The duo, according to sources close to the palace, are the favored candidates to clinch the exalted seat of their forefathers owing to their backgrounds, popular support, connection, exposure and financial muscle.
Abbas Sanus, 82, the patriarch of the Sanusi dynasty, was turbaned by his father, Sir Sanusi, as Sarki Sakar Gida at the age of 19 and is currently the most senior counsellor in the Emirate.
Palace sources told Sunday Vanguard, “Abbas Sanusi has practically lived his life in the palace and he is seen as a moving encyclopedia of the Kano Emirate which perhaps explains why he enjoys an excellent relationship with the kingmakers, princes and subjects alike.
“Wambai has played a stabilizing role in the Emirate since the age of 19, has the rare opportunity to have served two Emirs in succession and he is believed to be much grounded on the rudiments of tradition more than any prince in the house.”
At the twilight of the Ado Bayero reign, Wamban Kano played a dominant role in the palace, offering himself as a symbol of unity as the late Emir battled with his life at a London hospital.
He has always demonstrated his unalloyed support for Governor Kwankwaso which, in return, earned him a good relationship with the state chief executive who has the final say on who becomes the next Emir of Kano. The relationship was so strong that Kwankwaso appointed Abdullahi Abbas, the eldest son of the Wamban Kano into his cabinet as his Commissioner for Environment.
Despite the odds that favor the octogenarian prince, he, however, has to contend with his nephew, the former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, like his uncle, Abbas Sanusi, nursed the same ambition of inheriting the throne of their forefathers and going by the current trend in the city, it’s only God that can stop him.
SLS, as he is fondly called, was turbaned as Dan Majen Kano by the late Ado Bayero in recognition of his contribution to humanity which perhaps brought him closer to the throne. The encomium poured on him on the day he was turbaned by the late Emir forced a change on public opinion on his personality.
The controversy with the Presidency made him a hero in Kano and further drew him to Governor Kwankwaso as both until then were sworn enemies.
Undoubtedly, the former apex bank chief is the most popular among the princes vying for the Emir of Kano position due largely to his public stance on corruption, his age, exposure, contacts and love for his people and religion.
Interestingly, the siblings of the late Emir are not giving up the fight. Bayero’s eldest son, Sanusi Ado Bayero, the Chiroma Kano, is also a strong contender to the throne and he is leading his two other siblings, Aminu Ado Bayero, the Sarki Sakar Gida, and Nasiru Ado Bayero, the Turakin Kano, in the succession war .
Palace sources told Sunday Vanguard that the combination of the Chiroma Kano, Sanusi Ado Bayero, and his younger brother, Nasiru Ado Bayero, believed to be in total control of Bayero’s estate can match the ex-CBN Governor naira to naira but the frosty relationship between their late father and Kwankwaso appears to be their undoing at the moment.
One of the palace sources said, “When the chips are down, it is obvious the Bayeros would rally round their elder brother, the Chiroma, in a race that looks won and lost on the platter of who you know”.
The last time Kano recorded a direct son of a departed Emir succeeding his father or appointed into the throne of his father in the Emirate was in 1953, when Sir Sanusi whose forebears are currently the favorite ascended the throne. Whether the Bayero siblings are capable of breaking the jinx would certainly manifest in matter of days.