Kaduna Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has said the dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, would continue his “campaign against unworthy timid ignorance”.
This was contained in a press statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Friday.
The statement noted that El-Rufai visited Sanusi in Awe, Nasarawa State, as a mark of solidarity.
The statement read, “His Highness seems to have taken all that happened in his stride but has reiterated his commitment to enforcing his fundamental human rights.
“Sanusi II, the 14th Fulani Emir of Kano, manifested a renewed vigour to continue serving humanity in his life long efforts to expand the frontiers of knowledge and to campaign against unworthy timid ignorance that has shackled Nigeria as a perpetual potentially great nation.”
According to the statement, the governor, who drove from Abuja to Awe town, “met Sanusi in high spirits, demonstrating his usual calm, poise, and regal-bearing” despite his removal four days ago.
Sanusi was abruptly removed from office on Monday by Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for “disrespect” and “insubordination”.
Sanusi, 58, was banished under tight security to a small town in another state, in a tactic similar to that used by British imperial officials to punish rebellious leaders during the colonial period.
The move to hold him in exile sparked an outcry from human rights activists and was challenged in court by Sanusi’s lawyer.
At the hearing on Friday, Judge Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered that the dethroned emir be released and allowed to move about freely. “An interim order is hereby made releasing the applicant from the detention,” she said.
The judge ordered the authorities to restore Sanusi’s “rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s originating summons”.
The case was adjourned to March 26 for another hearing.
By tradition, the Kano emir is the second most senior Islamic ruler in Africa’s most populous nation, after the Sultan of Sokoto.
The former Central Bank Governor, who ascended the throne in 2014, has been an outspoken critic of political and religious leaders in his mainly-Muslim northern Nigeria, drawing flak of the authorities.
He had been at loggerheads with state governor Ganduje because of his criticism of the authorities and allegations he supported the opposition at elections last year.
The Kano State Government named Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the son of a former emir, as the new traditional ruler of Kano hours after dethroning Sanusi.