Ex-Nigerian top banker turbaned Kano emir

LAGOS – Former chief of Nigeria's Central Bank Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on Monday was turbaned the new emir of Nigeria's northern region's biggest city of Kano, four days after the demise of the 83-year-old emir Abdullahi Ado Bayero.

"There is no rift at all, we are all together and we belong to the same family, the new emir, who was turbaned as Dan Majen Kano, said in his first inaugural speech.

"We have no cause to fight one another," he said, going on to allege conspiracies "by some outsiders" to plunge Kano into crisis.

The turbaning ceremony was held in the Government House Kano amid tight security as protesters burnt tyres in rejection of Sanusi's choice.

Princes took turns to pay their respect to the new king, who is the nephew of Bayero, who died on Friday at the age of 83.

But the Bayero princes were conspicuously missing at the ceremony, underlining a deep rift among the royals.

The new emir comes well recommended, credited with first-class education, including in Arabic. He holds a degree in Islamic banking and sharia.

The ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) of President Goodluck Jonathan has refused to congratulate Sanusi.

The president has been at war with Sanusi since suspending him as CBN boss last February on accusations of financial recklessness, an action Sanusi is still challenging in court.

Sanusi is seen by many as pandering to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) whose leadership are reportedly in Kano on a condolence visit to the state government and the emirate council.

The ruling party has already withdrawn an earlier congratulatory message to Bayero's eldest son on his alleged announcement as the new emir.

The law empowers the governor to appoint any suitable candidate from the royal family - based on recommendations from traditional kingmakers - as the emir following the death or deposition of the incumbent.

A top source in the presidency claims that Kano governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, an APC chieftain, had manipulated the process in favor of Sanusi to spite President Jonathan.

"We will see how he would preside Kano," the source said. "Every Kano person is not happy at all. He wasn't the choice of the people and the emirate council. The palace is locked as I speak with you," the source added.

Rumors had been circulated earlier Monday that some members of the emirate council planned to announce a counter emir.

Emirs are considered very influential as custodians of culture and religion in Nigeria's north, though they boast no constitutional power.

The emir of Kano comes second only to the Sultan of Sokoto in honor among the mostly Muslim northern population. The sultan, naturally the president general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, is the official head of the Nigerian Muslims.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency