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New Emirates: I won’t Be Surprised If Sokoto Is Next – Anthony Sani, Secretary General ACF

The Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani, says that since there is no constitutional role for traditional institutions, changes, including unpleasant ones, are bound to occur.

Anthony Sani is the secretary-general, Arewa Consultative Forum / Photo credit: DailyPost
Anthony Sani is the secretary-general, Arewa Consultative Forum / Photo credit: DailyPost

The Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani, speaks on the four new emirates Governor Abdullahi Ganduje created in Kano State:

The government of Kano just passed into law, a bill creating additional emirate councils. Will this bring governance closer to the people?

When you talk of bringing governance nearer to the people, I am not sure because traditional institutions under the 1999 constitution are tiers or arms of government.

Their roles are traditional and, therefore, local. That is why their roles and functions are not expressly provided in the constitutions, thereby making it difficult to hold them to account for their place in the order of things in so far as governance is concerned.

When you talk of bringing governance nearer to the people, I am not sure because traditional institutions under the 1999 constitution are tiers or arms of government

The ACF serves as an advocacy group for good governance. From your experience, are traditional institutions aiding or getting in the way of governance?

There are those who posit that the place of traditional institutions in a republican setting is anathema, considering the situation depicts a republican structure existing side by side with a feudal system.

This school of thought suggests that the traditional institutions should give way for pure republican structure that should be managed for performance. Yet we have those who say the traditional rulers have roles to play, whether provided in the constitution or not.

They cite situations of insecurity where people run to traditional rulers for succor and not to elected officials. To such school of thought, such situation is a confirmation of people’s confidence in the roles of traditional rulers in maintenance of peace, stability and harmony in communities.

There are those who posit that the place of traditional institutions in a republican setting is anathema, considering the situation depicts a republican structure existing side by side with a feudal system

Do you see other states following in Governor Ganduje’s footsteps to create more emirs in order to weaken existing ones?

Creation of more emirates and chiefdoms is not a new development. Recall emancipation mantra of Solomon Lar, which saw to the multiplication of chiefdoms in Plateau state during Second Republic.

Even Governor Rimi created emirates in Kano State, which were later overturned by General Buhari during his first coming.

Recall Jaafaru Isa crested chiefdoms in Southern Kaduna when he was military Governor of Kaduna State.

When you think Kano state is the first to create additional emirates, it is because you have not looked around

In Nasarawa State, there have been several exercises resulting in many emirates and chiefdoms. We have also had a similar exercise in Oyo State. So, when you think Kano state is the first to create additional emirates, it is because you have not looked around.

But whether multiplication of emirates and chiefdoms at the public expense helps to improve good governance for common good is still a moot point.

This is because many people are wont to posit that multiplication of feudal points and effort centers may not necessarily result in effective and efficient governance.

Sokoto State now remains the only northern state where the traditional institution has not been broken into parts. Is it only a matter of time?

I cannot tell precisely because governance and traditions of society are dynamic and in state of flux. If language, which is emblematic of culture is dynamic, traditional institution is subject to change.

There will be nothing exotic or quixotic if such changes take place in Sokoto State.

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