As soon as news of removal of the former emir filtered in, the palace was thrown into mourning. Residents were seen in groups discussing the matter with shock and disbelief. Some however maintained that it wasn’t altogether unexpected.
When our correspondent visited the palace, heavily armed security operatives had already sealed up the place to maintain peace. Though movement in and outside the premises was highly restricted, a palace guard informed our correspondent that before the announcement of his removal, the emir had sent a message to the guards who reported for work that he (emir) was indisposed. Shortly after, the guards were withdrawn. Thereafter, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Usman Alhaji, announced removal of the emir.
The mood at the palace became tense as the emir was cocooned within by operatives who denied everyone access to the palace. Title holders and associates, who came calling, upon hearing of the development, were all turned back. Among them was Sarkin Fulani.
As anxious reporters and others watched, heads of security agencies in Kano including the Commissioner of Police led another team of operatives to the palace.
A mild drama ensued as Sanusi refused to leave the palace so as not to pave way for the appointment and announcement of his successor. (Tradition maintains that no new emir can be appointed or announced as long as the former refuses to vacate.) The standoff led to the invasion of the palace by some armed thugs ostensibly to eject Sanusi.
Before the heads of security agencies arrived, some residents of the palace locked the second gate leading to the emir’s chamber. They threw stones and chanted “karya ne” (It’s a lie) but armed thugs, led by one of the state governor’s political appointees, neutralised those resisting the eviction of the emir.
After about a five-hour standoff and mediation by some associates of the emir, notably Chief Imam of Alfurqan Jumu’at mosque, Mr Bashir Aliyu Umar, Sanusi was taken away in a long convoy to the Malam Aminu Kano Airport preparatory to his banishment.
A top security officer who was part of the team that escorted him to the airport said that he departed the state through the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport at exactly 6.40 pm.
The source told our correspondent that the deposed Emir left in an aircraft number N888E which was chartered by Kano State government to convey the deposed monarch to his new abode.
Another chartered flight conveyed his entire household made up of his wives and children out of the state, he said.
According to the source, they were accompanied by about eight policemen who will most likely stay with them for a while in Nassarawa State.
The flight took them to Abuja airport from where they traveled by road to Nassarawa State.