The newly-crowned Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, has shelved his public defiance and begged President Goodluck Jonathan, personally and through intermediaries, to lift police siege on his palace and forgive him his trespasses, presidency officials, associates of some of the intermediaries and sources within the Kano State Government and the Emir’s palace have told PREMIUM TIMES.
Police ended the siege late Thursday, four days after Mr. Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank, emerged monarch of the powerful Kano emirate.
Police authorities deny neither the blockade nor its lifting was on the instructions of the president.
Mr. Jonathan has been embroiled in months of acrimony with the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“My men have left the palace because there is peace now,” Kano State police chief, Aderele Shinaba, told PREMIUM TIMES Friday. “All the hoodlums that are threatening the palace have left. All those threatening the place have dispersed.”
He denied acting on the orders of the presidency.
“I don’t know why people are saying that,” he said. “As a commissioner of police, I should be able to use my initiative. That is what I have done. If I can’t use my initiative, it means something is wrong,” he said. “My own interest is peace and we will continue to ensure there is peace here.”
But multiple sources, including presidency insiders, palace sources and others familiar with all that transpired, have debunked that claim.
They say the siege was authorised by the president, and was lifted on his orders after Mr. Sanusi detailed influential Nigerians to intervene on his behalf.
Our sources said behind the public defiance by the former CBN governor and the Kano State governor, both men have reached out to Mr. Jonathan to seek a soft-landing.
Mr. Sanusi specifically is said to have capitulated after it became clear the government might be in possession of a purported “damning evidences of mismanagement” against him.
PREMIUM TIMES could not confirm those “evidences” and sources close to the Emir insist the government has nothing on the Emir.
“He served transparently and accountably and no one can say he did anything wrong while at the CBN,” an aide of the monarch said.
But officials well informed about the matter confirmed to this newspaper that influential mediators contacted the president on behalf of Mr. Sanusi, and begged him to re-consider the decision to cordon the palace.
One of the emissaries who intervened was the minister of defence, Aliyu Gusau.
Despite the efforts, the officials said, the president only acted after Mr. Sanusi personally spoke to him on Thursday, and pledged his “loyalty and friendship”.
The president’s principal secretary, Hassan Tukur, two of our sources said, arranged the communication.
“Sanusi told the president he was sorry for anything he might have done wrong in the past and asked the president to consider him henceforth as a friend,” one source said.
The new emir also assured the president he will not be partisan during his reign, and will not aid the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in any way, the source added.
The officials asked not to be named as they were not authorised to speak on the matter.
Mr. Sanusi was removed as CBN head by the president in February after he accused the government of failing to account for $20 billion oil money.
While investigations into the allegations were far from completion, the president fired the outspoken former banker, accusing him of “financial recklessness”.
Mr. Sanusi’s appointment as emir Sunday, clearly opposed by the presidency and the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, revved up months of rancour between Mr. Jonathan, the former CBN chief, and Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The Kano’s traditional stool is considered key ahead of the 2015 elections, given the state’s population and influence.
Police took over the sprawling palace in Kano city shortly after Mr. Sanusi was declared the emir, claiming the move was necessary to stop looters and arsonists angered by the emergence of the new emir.
Police however denied barring the new emir from accessing the facility, and also denied acting on the instructions of the president.
But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday, Governor Kwankwaso said the police acted on the orders of the president to arrest Mr. Sanusi, and accused Mr. Jonathan of plotting to eliminate him.
The presidency has not responded to those claims.
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