Your Royal Highness, Where Do You Stand? – By Muhammad Karamba

The recent statement by His Royal Highness the Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanisu on his plan to ban the poorest of his citizens from practicing polygamy spiked arguments on social media, about the legitimacy of his call.

Pro-Polygamist claim he can’t strip them of their spiritual rights while some said it made perfect sense.

While I was pondering about the issue, a question struck my cord. Do the Royal Highnesses have the constitutional right to legislate?

Until the coming of colonial masters, Emirs were solely in charge of all the affairs of their people. They enjoyed a lot of praise and respect. They legislated, executed and judged.

However, the coming of the colonial masters changed something; it meant the Emirs were not totally in control anymore.

As the new nation (Nigeria) was coming up, the Emirs were gradually loosing there powers bit by bit until they were left with only the respect their people have for them.

Nothing beats being sincerely respected. However, we are in a different world now. Unfortunately (to the Royal fathers) people understand and know their rights. Going by our constitution, there are three arms of government.

The Executive, which is in charge of administration, the Legislator which gives laws and the Judiciary which enforces the laws. Where do our Royal fathers fit in the equation? Going by the little I understand, a Local government ward counselor has more constitutional power than a Royal father.

Emir Sanusi’s point is logical. But sometimes, especially when dealing with things that have to do with religion or belief, logic is the last thing you want to introduce. People want to practice as they have known it.

I am no Islamic scholar to know whether it’s the right call or not. But, in my opinion, there are lines our Royal fathers should not try to cross. Frankly, respect is all they have now and when they put themselves in situations where some citizens decide not to respect them, they might lose it all.

With all due respect to our Royal fathers, they should stay on course. They have been doing a good job but, legislation is not theirs; at least for the time being. They should continue to advise governments on what’s best for us. May God guide them and increase them in wisdom.


Muhammad Karamba


About the author




Leave a Comment