By Ibrahim Muhammad Kano
As Kano remains the most politically volatile state in Nigeria, tensions have continued to grow over the controversy of the state’s governorship election petition.
You may recall the spate of protests and counter protests in recent days where members of the NNPP and that of APC had newly colluded after the so called certified true copy of the appeal court judgement.
Ahead of Supreme Court’s verdict on Kano State governorship election, popular Islamic cleric and a leading Tijjaniyya doctrine, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, has advised the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Kayode Ariwoola, to ensure that the Kano governorship election petition is treated by the apex court with caution, justice and fairness.
The cleric in a letter addressed to Mr Ariwoola, which was stamped “received” by CJN’s office was released to journalists on Friday.
The letter described Kano as “commercial and religious centre of the entire Northern Nigeria,” warning that a judgement against the will of the people could snowball into violence and killing of innocent souls because of volatility of the state.
“Kano State has since been the commercial and religious centre of the entire Northern Nigeria. It’s pertinent therefore, that peace, unity and order that have woven Nigeria together ever since the dark days of Nigerian civil wars should be maintained at all cost, no other time than now as the world undergoes economic turbulence,” Mr Bauchi said.
The cleric said northern clerics, elders and populace would unanimously conclude that Kano people’s vote was stolen if the Supreme Court uphold Appeal Court’s verdict sacking Mr Yusuf, warning that “Nigeria cannot, at this moment, afford another civil war; which is mostly ignited from unattended agitations of the people.”
“I therefore, write to reiterate that the proceedings of the review of the Appeal Court should be administered with utmost fairness and justice without fear nor favour against the will of the people explicitly expressed through their civic rights, so they may not feel their votes have been stolen nor swept away,” Mr Bauchi said.
“Your Lordship, this indeed is the unanimous opinion of the scholars and clerics as well as the concern of the northern elders; above all, the view of the northern populace and Nigerians at large.”
On Thursday, the Supreme Court reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the NNPP seeking affirmation of its candidate, Abba Yusuf, as governor of Kano who was sacked by tribunal and appeal courts in a controversial judgement that was different from what was read in the open court.
Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi’s letter comes months after retired Justice Muhammad Dattijo, during his valedictory speech, made scathing remarks about the judiciary, explaining why Nigerians hate the judiciary.
Justice Dattijo, 70, echoed criticisms against the judiciary, lamenting that “public perceptions of the judiciary have over the years become witheringly scornful and monstrously critical.
“It has been in the public space that court officials and judges are easily bribed by litigants to obviate delays and or obtain favourable judgments,” he said.
It is a known fact that the integrity of judiciary is being put to test on Kano Election Petition as Nigerians believed that the ruling party APC is desperate to take the over the state from the New Nigeria Peoples Party.
Many notable personalities including former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman Northern Elders Forum Prof. Ango Abdullahi, former NBA President Akpata, former presidential running mate Mike Ahamba, SAN and a host of others have spoken on need to ensure justice prevail in the case of Kano to save the image of the Judiciary.
Similarly, Yoruba Community in Kano and their counterpart Hausa Community in the South West have cried out calling on the Yoruba traditional leaders in intervene by counselling President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to interfere into the Kano case otherwise, the situation could be regrettable.