NIGERIA: Policemen Withdrawn from Kano Emir’s Palace

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Policemen deployed to the Emir of Kano’s palace were finally withdrawn late yesterday while cars were allowed into the palace.

A competent source at the palace told THISDAY that the policemen were seen leaving the compound but there were no details on their departure from the palace.

However, an official in the palace told THISDAY on condition of anonymity that the order that they should leave the palace came from the above.

The palace was sealed up on Sunday evening after the announcement of Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the new emir by the state government. This was greeted by protests from aggrieved people in the state.

Efforts to reach the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aderenle Shinaba, were unsuccessful, as he didn’t answer his mobile phone.
The police had disclosed that the force was laying siege at the palace to prevent miscreants from looting the facility.

The state Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, had on Wednesday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of deploying police officers to seal off the palace to prevent the new emir, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, from moving in.

But speaking to an online medium, Premium Times, yesterday, Shinaba said the allegation was false.

He said his men were guarding the palace and its vicinity to keep the peace and prevent miscreants from looting the complex.

Shinaba said: “We are not stopping anyone from accessing the palace. The Emir or anyone else can move in and out of the palace unmolested.

“The police have no power over the emir. It is a traditional institution and we have respect for it. But a situation where people would be creating problems, protesting and threatening the peace is unacceptable. We cannot fold our arms and allow miscreants to loot the palace.”

The police commissioner denied being under any instruction from anyone to block the emir from entering his palace or arresting him.

“Instruction from who? Go and ask the presidency or the police headquarters to determine if they gave me any instruction to block the Emir from his palace or molest him.

“My own interest is that of security which I’m doing and will continue to do.”
Protests had broken out in Kano on Sunday shortly after the announcement of the new emir, as his supporters clashed with those of his opponent, the son of the former emir, Ado Bayero, who died Friday.

Kwankwaso said he had “credible information” the president instructed his supporters in Kano to unleash “mayhem” on the state.
“We don’t know his intention, but, certainly the intention is not good,” he said.

“We have to tell him that igniting crisis in Kano is not in the interest of anybody. We have enough crisis already in the country, and now they are funding their stooges in Kano to protest and burn government properties.”

The governor also accused the president of plotting to arrest the new emir and instructing the police to seal off his palace.

“We got information that they were planning to arrest him, so, we moved him to the Government House. I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if they succeeded,” he said.

Sanusi has been operating from the Kano Government House since his appointment.

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