About this time last year, precisely on the 2nd of May, I wrote a piece on “The Other Barbarian at AGODI.” You can still track it on my timeline via

I opened the piece with the assertion that sometimes when we cowardly keep quiet and allow evil to trudge and flourish with little or no resistance, our civilization reverses by a few centuries. When I wrote that line, I was not particularly sure I was absolutely right. I felt the statement was some sort of ‘overkill’ until the events of these past few days in Nigeria unfolded.

First it was the unimaginable news from Kano; so disheartening, scandalous and ridiculous. The Governor, 69 year old Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, a man who claims he has a PhD in Public Administration from Nigeria’s Premier University (University of Ibadan) went berserk in close connivance with his raft of lame-duck follow-follow State House of Assembly members and within a week shredded everything significant about the well documented historical heritage of the Kano Emirate which had spanned over 1000 years. A celebrated case study in dissertations on Public Administration. And just in a few days, this inglorious gang of cultural rapists shredded the famous and globally celebrated Kano Emirate into 5 new Emirates with fiat.

And almost immediately, with the full backing of the shallow laws hurriedly put together by ill-informed lawmakers who have been unable in the past few years to make laws to tackle frontally the worrisome issue of Universal Basic Education for the millions of out-of-school kids on the streets of Kano, new Emirs where installed in the 4 newly fabricated Emirates in the most shameful manner that brings one to think there is now a paucity of wise-men in and around the cabinet of the Government of Kano State.

In this instance, it is obviously beyond me to question the rationale behind Ganduje’s naivety and illustrious ignorance about the essence of preserving the culture and the luxurious history of an Emirate that has become one of Northern Nigeria’s pride and greatest exports to the world. I leave that assignment of "excavating the rationale" to our innumerable scholars and reputable historians, particularly the "Kanawas" who will suffer the burden of explaining how this accident happened on the people of Kano in this age and time and how one man and his sympathizers have succeeded in making Kano the laughing stock of the civilized world.

As I write this, I begin to imagine with nostalgia the stunning Kano Palace, the magnificent walls, the stable of horses, the couture of the royal guards and so many other pleasant attractions that endeared Kano to some of us who grew up in the North. Even as an adult, I have during my several visits to Kano had reasons to go back again and again to marvel at the beauty of the Palace which for me is the number one tourist landmark in the ancient city. Sometimes in conversations I tell Monarchs in the South to visit the Emir of Kano’s Palace to have a good understanding of how the institution of a Palace can be the convergence of the history, culture and tradition of a society.

The bizarre overnight fabrication of fleeting new Emirates in Bichi, Gaya, Karaye and Rano in Kano State by Gov. Ganduje was an afterthought and is also traceable to the actual bad-blood that greeted the last Governorship election in the State. The perception here, and this is almost true for me, was that the cerebral and blunt Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sunusi II, directly and indirectly, talked and walked against the return of the Emperor Ganduje to the Government House in Kano for a second term. The bloodbath and impunity that greeted the re-run election that eventually gave Ganduje his unpopular second term run is best left to be imagined. For the first time in a long time, at a time I was celebrating in my mind the ultimate end of brigandage during elections in Nigeria, I saw how low an individual can go with the levers of power at his disposal. Ganduje went all out to get this second term damning all consequences. On election day in Kano, local hunters imported from neighbouring States and even Niger Republic came with local guns, cutlasses, charms, cudgels and all sort of weapons to maim and chase away voters who are perceived supporters of the opponent of the sitting Governor. The rest they say is history.

It is however worthy to note that swiftly, the people of Wudil have rejected the new Emirate and have reaffirmed their loyalty to the Emirate of Kano. Several leaders and reputable State-men from Kano have also called on Nigerians from all walks of life to appeal to the temporary Emperor of Kano to reverse his misguided adventure to destroy an heritage that has spanned over a thousand years. In their own view, they are concerned that the Governor’s inordinate adventure may have a backlash that may go viral. They opined that ‘a minor eruption of violence from Kano can easily conflagrate the region and possibly, the country. People are angry at various levels and for various reasons, and some may use this as an opportunity to vent their anger.’ The coming years will tell whether Ganduje and his co-travelers will outlive the heritage and age long culture of the people of Kano.

Kano and Oyo State share some terrible things in common in this season. A little while ago, the Governor in Oyo also woke up suddenly and created 44 Kingdoms within Ibadan and in the most ridiculous manner, on a Sunday afternoon presented fabricated cartoon crowns and staff of office alien to Yoruba tradition to all of them at once on the same stage in public glare. So in Oyo today, we now have Obas who are also title Chiefs in the Palace of another Oba. This, like one of my friends quipped makes the Olubadan the "King of Kings of Ibadanland." If you think I am joking, ask around Ibadan. Every street now has a King. And I just hope this is not the eventual ambition of Gov. Ganduje.

So, just about the time the disaster in Kano was edging towards the river banks, our own Barbarian at Agodi, the outgoing Koseleri (now Koselemo) Governor of Oyo State, the In-Law to Ganduje came up with another set of his usual eccentric acts. Just about two weeks to the end of his inglorious reign as Governor of Oyo State, he started naming monuments like someone under the influence of hard drugs. This is apart from “rumours” of the billions of naira now being wastefully siphoned from the vaults of the State via phony and unbelievable last minute contract awards, payment of arrears, all sort of honorariums and so on.

In a bid to further elevate his recklessness and avarice for self-adulation, the Governor hastily and shamelessly named a road less than 20% completed and a maternal & pediatric centre built with tax payer’s money after himself. I thought the naming of monuments usually comes after ones meritorious service and based on a consensus that it is deserved. In Oyo, it is not so. You build with the commonwealth and then name those buildings after yourself. Yes, you heard me right. And this is coming also from another 69 year old man that claims he has some decent education and exposure. This is the kind of society we now find ourselves. And as usual, the Governor's lackeys, those who have not been able to tell him a single truth throughout his 8 oppressive years of reign at the Agodi, Ibadan Government House are all over the place celebrating him. I am however confident that one day this whole joke will be over and we will begin to see the source of the stench covered with pumpkin leaves.

Like Kano, like Oyo. Aren’t we just blessed with mean mortals who do not in any way see their brief stint in the corridors of power as a test by the Sovereign?

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