President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice-President Namadi Sambo; the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau; and other officials of the Federal Government on Saturday stayed away from the coronation of a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, as the 97th Emir of Kano.
Their absence at the colourful ceremony, which was attended by Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; and All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, may not be unconnected with the long running rivalry between Jonathan and Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The most surprising absentee was Shekarau, a former governor of the state and the Sardauna of Kano.
His absence was made conspicuous since he is a traditional title holder, who ought to have been present because of its symbolism.
Neither Jonathan nor Sambo sent any representative and no reason was given for their absence at the most important programme in the Kano Emirate Council.
Speaking shortly after being conferred with the staff of office as well as other important regalia of the emirate council, the former CBN governor, who goes by the title of Emir Muhammad Sunusi II, noted that power comes from God.
He urged politicians to adhere to electoral rules and shun all forms of inciting comments that would not help the nation.
He said he became emir of a kingdom with a rich history transcending hundreds of years, adding, “Although the Fulani dynasty spent only 200 years out of the over 1000 years, the emirate runs its kingship.”
Other dignitaries at the coronation were a former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; the governors of Sokoto, Kaduna, Niger, Yobe, Katsina states, Aliyu Wamakko, Babaginda Aliyu, Ibrahim Geidam and Ibrahim Shema respectively; and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Also present were the ambassadors of the United States and Italy James Entwistle and Fulvio Rustico respectively; as well as the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock; the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter, and other dignitaries.
In his speech, Kwankwaso said the selection and subsequent coronation of the emir was done despite a series of challenges he faced. He noted that the choice of Sunusi was guided by his overwhelming capacity and humility, honesty and above all the fear of God, which he exhibited in all his dealings.