On the surface, it would appear that the attempt by the Kano State House of Assembly to probe the venerable, though controversial emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, SLS, was as a result of personal disagreement between Governor Ganduje and SLS. In truth, however, the confrontation was a symptom of an age long existential crisis of legitimacy between the traditional form of political authority and the modern form of legitimacy, conferred by the provisions of the constitution. In the former, legitimacy is viewed as traditional and spiritual. Respect and adherence to traditional authority is largely voluntary and considered by the vast majority of the citizenry as act of duty and honour.
The modern form of legitimacy, however is gained usually after divisive elections, where a mere simple majority confers on the winner control not only the government but the entire instruments of authority. Citizens are neither united nor necessarily patriotic.
As we have seen all through our political history, disagreements between the two competing systems have been frequent. Jokolo, the deposed emir of Gwandu battled all governors of Kebbi from Col S T Bello until he was deposed by Governor Adamu Aliero.
Ganduje must be given some credit for averting this confrontation. Though usually viewed as being timid and unsophisticated, in this case he has shown some strategic dexterity. I asked a friend of mine close to the Ganduje administration if truly Ganduje would impeach SLS, and he told me no. He said all they want to do is to rattle the tough-talking monarch and silence him for a while. Imagine if Ganduje had made the mistake of deposing SLS, and SLS’s supporters team up with Kwankwaso and the PDP in Kano, Ganduje would have been the first elected Governor to be pelted out of office.