The Northern Elders’ Forum has condemned alleged interference by the Presidency with the enthronement of the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, as the new Emir of Kano.
The forum said it would be wrong for the Presidency to interfere in an ethno-religious tradition that is over 1000 years old.
Sanusi had succeeded Ado Bayero who died on June 6 at the age of 84 years after 50 years on the throne.
The Deputy National Chairman, NEF, Dr. Paul Unongo, alleged that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration had been hard on its critics and often rejected advice given to it. He said the President was being misled by his advisers.
He said, “Such is happening in Kano after somebody who was supposed to be the government’s enemy was chosen by the traditional people to be their emir. I saw the government reacting to a purely traditional and religious matter.
“He is a Christian president but people are pushing him to go and stop a religious and traditional leader. I don’t think they know the meaning of an emir. An emir is both like a pope; like an archbishop and, at the same time, he has traditional powers.
“He is not like a chief in Tiv or Yorubaland or Igboland; this is the head of Islam in Kano. Kano has a history that dates back to about 1000 to 2000 years; and this people can trace their traditional rulers. How will the government stop them?”
The forum also backed the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, over his stance on the insurgency by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the North-East.
The Presidency and the Defence Headquarters had engaged the governor in a war of words over the cause of the insurgency and superiority of firepower between the military and the insurgents.
Unongo said, “There are so many things happening in this country that I don’t understand anymore. I don t know if the Federal Government is interested in people’s ideas. The government gives the impression that it knows everything and how to solve problems. And what it needs is for everybody to shut up.”