KANO, Nigeria (AFP) – Nigeria’s emir of Kano, an influential Muslim monarch, was formally installed Saturday in a lavish ceremony in the ancient northern city. Women ululated as the sound of drums, trumpets and flutes filled the air, and royal gunmen fired several volleys to mark the coronation of Muhammad Sanusi II.
The emir received his symbol of authority, a silver staff, from Kano state governor Rabiu Kwankwaso in a 1,200-capacity hall specially built for the occasion. Sanusi becomes one of Nigeria’s top Islamic authorities, reigning in the largest city in the country’s mainly Muslim north.
Kano’s 57th emir in a succession going back to the 10th century succeeds Ado Bayero, who died last June after 51 years on the throne. Born Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the new emir was previously the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria before he was suspended in February last year on charges of financial impropriety.
The move by President Goodluck Jonathan – effectively a sacking as Sanusi’s term was ending – was widely seen as politically motivated. Sanusi had claimed that the state oil company misused nearly $20 billion (more than 17 billion euros) in public funds in 2012 and 2013.