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How To Grow Your Start-up With Social Media

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How To Grow Your Start-up With Social Media

Everyone is telling you to proliferate your brand, get out there on social media and grow an audience, develop relationships with your customers and potential customers… The list goes on.

Unfortunately, if you are a startup immersed in the frenzy of just getting your feet on the ground, it is hard to find the time.

But, as Yoda would say, “Find the time you must, or a business no longer will you have.”

Yoda quote – grow your startup with social media

Here is your checklist. Don’t do it all at once, but keep these 9 strategies in front of you and set aside a block of time each week to work on them.

  1. Choose the proper channels for your presence

You cannot support a presence on all social media channels right now. Later, when you are all grown up, you can. So, focus on 2-3 platforms that you know are most popular with your target audience.

Choosing those platforms is not as hard as you think:

Develop your customer persona. What this means is that you develop a complete profile of your typical customer. Single Grain has designed a great graphic with all that should be included in your persona.
Buyer persona – grow your startup with social media

Once you have a complete profile, you are ready to figure out where this person hangs out on social media. Facebook is a given, but beyond that, you will need to dig a bit. Fortunately, there is a lot of research out there that will tell you where Sally is. Choose 2-3 places where Sally hangs out and focus on those.
Your profile will also tell you the type of content and posts you should create for Sally, and how you go about developing a relationship with her. If, for example, she is a millennial, then she can smell a sales pitch from far off and hates it; she will ask her friends about their experiences with you; she will want you to entertain her and let her interact with your content; and she will want you to be socially responsible – involved in helping others and the planet.
Case Study: Chipotle

Here is why “Sally” will connect with Chipotle.

First, it is a brand that values fresh ingredients and has the option to “build your own” items like tacos, bowls, and burritos. Both ingredients and the experience will be appealing to her, as a millennial.

But Chipotle has gone further. It has as web series titled “Farmed and Dangerous” in which a millennial farmer who believes in sustainable, chemical-free farming is pitted against a large corporate food company. It is a comedy with its own website, and regular episodes are posted, complete with music and show trivia.

Before this series even began, Chipotle had already developed an iPhone game called “The Scarecrow” in which a scarecrow is searching for natural rather than processed food.

Chipotle example – grow your startup with social media

Sally loves Chipotle because it values the planet, natural foods and is critical of corporate agriculture. The restaurant experience certainly helps too.

  1. Be consistent and regular

Once you have identified your platforms, you must set up a schedule of posts and stick to it. If you don’t stick to your schedule then followers will drop you and move on.

Those posts had better be fresh and engaging. If they strike a chord, they will be shared. For example, if Instagram is a selected platform, put together a bunch of images in advance with great quotes which your persona will enjoy. Stack them up and post one a day. When the supply gets low, take the time to create more.

This goes for your website too. Many businesses have fresh new content regularly posted on their home pages, so that visitors are engaged and entertained right away.

Case Study: Dollar Shave Club

This company pretty much revolutionized the razor industry with its subscription-based shaving club. “Members” pay a really reasonable monthly fee and have razors and other grooming products delivered to their doors.

Their website regularly has new videos, some of them interactive, that visitors love to view and then share. An innovative marketing plan but a method to bring customers and potential customers back regularly to see the new content.

Dollar Shave club – grow your startup with social media

  1. Start and stay in the conversation

You can start conversations by asking questions or asking your readers to do something. And when you get answers and comments you keep the conversation going.

Every day, check your social media pages for feedback, comments and questions. Respond quickly. Never let a comment go without a response, whether that comment is positive, neutral, or negative. This is how relationships are built.

Case Study: ModCloth

If you check any of ModCloth’s social media platforms, you will not only find new content every day but you will find conversations in which the clothier responds to questions and jumps in with response to customers.

Just looking at its Facebook page, you can also see how strings of conversation just keep on going, with a ModCloth response to each customer.

ModCloth – grow your startup with social media

Modcloth example 2 – grow your startup with social media

  1. Engage your audience so they want to share your content

There are several things you can do to capture and intrigue your audience.

Publish quizzes, polls, and surveys. You’ve seen these on Facebook and you know you have participated. You want the results and then you want to share those results with your friends.
Hold contests. This totally engages an audience. Jack Daniels does this all the time. They invite followers to submit their strangest bar stories or to submit pictures of the weirdest bar they have ever visited. ModCloth holds contests to name clothing items it has purchased.
Always use visuals because they are shared more. And explore some of the newer venues for visuals – real time stuff through Meerkat or Periscope.
Incorporate humor – this can be done by a “joke of the day” on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Use memes.
Support a charitable cause – show photos of your team involved and ask followers to get involved and to share your call to action. Headbands of Hope does this well. For every headband purchased, one is donated to a little girl with cancer, along with $1 toward cancer research. The founder may have gotten the idea from Tom’s Shoes. Check them out.
Feature customers in your posts. Most of ModCloth’s Facebook page is devoted to customers wearing clothing they have bought.
Case Study: Headbands of Hope

Headbands example – grow your startup with social media

And a few shots from the “Giving Gallery”

Headbands 2 – grow your startup with social media

  1. Stay on top of social media changes

Here are just a few recent changes that platforms have implemented in an effort to keep their populations with them.

Twitter allows media and more characters
Instagram has implemented the carousel so that more than one image can be posted at a time
Facebook now has groups
Most content marketing websites will keep you informed of changes as they occur. Keep up.
6. Use the 80/20 rule

No one wants a pushy sales pitch – ever. Just don’t do it.

80% of what you post should not be related to your product or service. It should be related to developing trust and relationships and getting your brand known. 20% of what you post can relate to your products or services – advertised sales or discounts, new product launches, free trials, etc.

  1. Use amazing headlines

Check out some of the master’s at this. You’ve probably been intrigued or compelled by many yourself. For some headline examples see Upworthy’s Facebook post titles – always a photo and always a headline you cannot resist.

Headlines are tough to create – there are some good headline generator tools available, though, so find one you like and use it, even if you have to pay a bit for their upgrade.

Here are a couple of outrageous titles courtesy of BoostBlogTraffic.com;

How Spending $162,301.42 on Clothes Made Me $692,500 – Neil Patel

Caution: Stop Masturbating With Your Money – Ashley Ambirge

It’s unlikely that many will pass up these posts!

  1. Know when to post

Remember that persona you developed in #1?

Well, you know where she is; now you need to know when she is there. Fortunately, others have done this research for you. Not only will you find out when best to post but you will also learn how many times a day, week, or month you should re-post.

You can even set up these re-posts automatically.

  1. Have a crisis plan

Figure out in advance what your strategy will be if someone “bashes” you on social media. It may be an angry customer or it may be someone who was offended by something you posted. You have to fix this and fix it immediately. Letting it hang out there with no positive and helpful or contrite response is a “killer.”

Google “complaints about _______(your company name)” often and see if there is anything bad out there. Handle it immediately.

This looks like a lot to do, and you may be pretty tired just reading about it all. Take heart. You don’t have to do everything at once.

Pick a couple of things from this list and see how they work for you (give them some time); then add as you can. Your business isn’t going to grow overnight and neither is your return on social media efforts. Be patient, but be steady.

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Fraudster sets girlfriend ablaze for infidelity

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Fraudster sets girlfriend ablaze for infidelity

A 19-year-old boy, Orji Ifeanyichukwu, has been arrested by policemen from Iba police division in Lagos for allegedly setting his 24-year-old girlfriend, Alabi Tolani, ablaze over alleged infidelity.

The spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Elkana said the incident took place at G54, Army Post Service Housing Estate, Ojo, Lagos, where they both lived in Ifeanyichukwu’s N600, 000 per annum apartment.

The police spokesman said: “Ifeanyichukwu met the victim on February 28, through a hookup and she moved into his house in March.

“He has been into internet fraud for the past three years where he gets the proceeds for renting the apartment.

“They have since then, inhabited as lovers because her parents live apart.”

According to Elkana, Ifeanyichukwu brought Tolani into his house with conditions that she would quit prostitution and stick to him alone.

He added: “However, trouble started on Thursday when the victim left home to fix her hair and did not return until the next day.

“She equally left the house on Friday under the guise of visiting her father but ended up seeing another man.

“Ifeanyichukwu got to know on Saturday when she returned by scrolling through her phone and saw her chats, video calls and pictures of her naked body which she sent to her client.”

He said the suspect became angry and used the petrol he kept for his generator to set her ablaze.

“A team of detectives visited the scene and the victim has been taken to General Hospital, Igando, where she was admitted but died in the early hours of Sunday.

“The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has directed the immediate transfer of the case to Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.

“The suspect confessed to the commission of the crime and will be charged to court for murder,” Elkana stated.

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Real reason DSS rearrested Sowore – Nnamdi Kanu reveals

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Real reason DSS rearrested Sowore - Nnamdi Kanu reveals

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has reacted to the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the RevolutionNow Movement by the Department of State Services, DSS.

Kanu alleged that DSS re-arrested Sowore because he once had a meeting with him.

The IPOB leader made the disclosure during a live broadcast on Radio Biafra on Sunday, where he condemned DSS action against Sowore.

He alleged that the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari was not interested in Sowore but was only using the activist to get close to him.

“The only reason Sowore is in prison is that he had a meeting with me. They are not fighting Sowore. They are fighting me,” Kanu said.

Kanu and Sowore, who was the 2019 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, had prior to the general election met in New York, United States, to strategize on what they describe as “injustice in Nigeria.”

The secret police rearrested Sowore on Friday morning operatives of the DSS re-arrested Sowore on the premises of an Abuja Federal High Court, a development that has continued to generate public outcry

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DSS operatives disguised as lawyers to desecrate the court, Femi Falana declares

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DSS operatives disguised as lawyers to desecrate the court, Femi Falana declares

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer representing Sowore, says officials of the Department of State Services  (DSS) are guilty of desecration of court.

The secret police had invaded the federal high court in Abuja on Friday to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement,  barely 24 hours after he was released on the order of the court.

Video clips making the rounds showed the chaos inside the courtroom where Sowore was pinned down by a man alleged to be an operative of the DSS while he (Sowore) was surrounded by his supporters who fought back.

The DSS has, however, denied infiltrating the court. The service said it did not attempt arresting Sowore inside the court, alleging that his supporters only “stage-managed the drama” to bring the service to disrepute.

Justifying the rearrest of Sowore, the DSS said he “resorted to acts inimical to security”, adding that it remains a law-abiding agency.

Responding to the claims, Falana said immediately the case was adjourned, DSS operatives “pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court”.

He said armed DSS operatives who disguised in lawyer’s outfit were inside the courtroom.

Femi Falana added that Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, summoned the head of the DSS team in her chambers and asked him to justify the invasion of the court after which he reportedly offered an apology before he was asked to withdraw his men from the courtroom.

“As soon as the case was adjourned the SSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court. Having taken over the court room vi et armis Justice Ojukwu hurriedly rose and asked the Registrar to adjourn all other cases. After the learned trial judge had risen for the day she summoned the heads of the prosecution and defence teams to her chambers,” Falana said.

“When the lead prosecutor, Dr. Liman Hassan SAN denied knowledge of the invasion of her court she directed him to invite the head of the SSS team in the court. When challenged to justify the invasion of the court the officer could not. He apologised to Justice Ojukwu on behalf of the SSS. The judge then directed the officer to withdraw the SSS operatives from the courtroom. The directive was complied with as the operatives withdrew from the courtroom but rushed out to join their colleagues who had taken over the entire court house.”

Femi Falana said the DSS could not provide a warrant of arrest for Sowore, insisting that the rearrest of his client was illegal.

Falana, therefore, called on the DSS to release Sowore and “other political detainees” pending the verdict of the court in their trial.

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Governor Ikpeazu bans street trading in Ariaria Market

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Governor Ikpeazu bans street trading in Ariaria Market

In a bid to restore sanity and order in Aba metropolis, Abia State Governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has placed a banned erection of shops, tents or any other structure for the purpose of trading around the Ariaria International Market in Aba.

This followed the successful dislodging of all street traders around the area by the Ministry of Trade and Investment in a bid to restore sanity and order in Aba metropolis.

The Governor, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Monday ordered that no form of street trading be conducted around that area which is the commercial nerve centre of the state.

Ikpeazu also directed security agencies to arrest and prosecute any person who attempts to flout his orders.

He advised those who wish to do business to find spaces for their trading activities inside the market.

“Governor Ikpeazu hereby orders all relevant agencies of the Abia State Government to work with security agencies to effectively and decisively carry out these instructions.

“Governor Ikpeazu further orders the Abia State Public Utilities Management Agency to immediately move into the area, clean up the place and turn the surroundings into green areas through the planting of flowers and other ornamental trees, as well as restore the original plan for that area which is to create unrestricted access into and out of the market.

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Sowore’s Rearest: Respect the rule of law US tells Buhari

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Sowore's Rearest: Respect the rule of law US tells Buhari

The United States government has reacted to the rearrest of the convener of the ‘Revolution Now’ movement Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) on Friday.

Mr. Sowore who was also a former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), was rearrested and eventually detained barely 24 hours after the security agency had released him following a 24-hour ultimatum issued by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

His rearrest has sparked widespread reactions, even as his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, has called for the release of Mr. Sowore who has been granted bail by the court.

In a tweet, the US State Department urged the Nigerian Government to respect the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom. Adding that due process should be the tenets of democracy.

Meanwhile, the DSS in reaction to Mr. Sowore’s rearrest and detention, said that that he is facing trial, not as an activist, journalist or politician.

It said Sowore was taken into custody for allegedly resorting to calling for violence, a forceful takeover of government, and suspected transnational illegal activities. Sowore's Rearest: Respect the rule of law US tells Buhari

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I’ll never contest for any election in Nigeria – 67 year old Danjuma Goje says

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I'll never contest for any election in Nigeria - 67 year old Danjuma Goje says

Muhammad Danjuma Goje, Senator representing Gombe Central has revealed he will not contest for further elections in Nigeria.

The 67-year-old lawmaker, who is a former Governor of Gombe State, disclosed this during a programme entitled ‘Goje Empowerment Programme’ at Gombe’s Pantami Stadium.

Danjuma Goje, however, said he would remain active in state and national politics.

“Having contested and won all seven elections, in addition to being a Minister for the country, I strongly believe that Allah (SWT) has been extremely kind to me,” said the serving Senator and former Minister of State (Power and Steel).

“I believe not many Nigerians are so lucky and blessed. Having reached an advanced age, I wish to formally inform you that I have decided not to contest any election again. For the avoidance of doubt, I will not contest any election at all levels.

“However, this does not mean that I will retire from politics; far from that. I will continue to be an active card carrying member of the APC and participate in all political activities at all levels, except that I will not contest any election.

“I have had the rare opportunity of contesting and wining seven elections…

“In the second Republic, during [Shehu] Shagari’s government, as a very young man, I contested and won election into the Bauchi State House of Assembly. In 1998, I also contested and won election as a Senator for Gombe Central Senatorial district under defunct UNCP during [Gen. Sani] Abacha’s regime.

“I then in 2003 contested and won the governorship election of Gombe State. I was reelected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. I contested and won three senatorial elections for Gombe Central Senatorial district.

“I have every reason to thank Allah (SWT), the people of my primary constituency (Pindiga Emirate), Akko Local Government, Gombe State and indeed the entire country for giving me the very rare opportunity to rise from ‘grass to grace.

“At the national level, I will continue to be loyal and supportive of his Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, and the government, of course.

“I will continue to be an active and loyal member of the National Assembly under the leadership of the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan.

“My loyalty to the [APC] party under the chairmanship of Adams Oshiomhole is also unquestionable.”

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APC originated hate speech, APC chieftain says

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APC originated hate speech, APC chieftain says

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and human rights advocate, Joshua Alobo, on Monday, insinuated that his party originated activities that can now be interpreted as hate speech in the current administration.

Mr. Alobo was responding to a question on Sunrise Daily, about the Department of State Security Service’s treatment of founder of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore.

He said he was “seriously embarrassed” by the situation as Sowore was “among those who canvassed for the ‘change’ mantra.”

“APC, in which I am a chieftain, originates hate speech,” Mr. Alobo, who is the President of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, continued.

“Look at what happened at . . . even Lai Muhammed and the rest, nobody was arrested. Look at the fuel subsidy protest at the freedom square. If not that Jonathan was proactive to deploy soldiers . . . I was in Abuja; even though I wasn’t in the general protest, I was using my vehicle to monitor the whole situation.

“So a lot of showbiz was going on during the Jonathan administration, they don’t look at it as a threat to the government. What is Sowore? They are just making the guy to be too popular, I don’t know him as a person. But they have been reading Sahara Reporters right from Jonathan era, a lot of information has been disclosed and all those things.

“So if a media practitioner cannot express his opinion, then what will he do? And this is a man that has the pedigree of activism right from University. So the DSS for goodness sake should not bring another terrorist group. It is the suppression of Yusuf Muhammed that escalated into what we have now as Boko Haram.”

Sowore was re-arrested by the DSS on Friday less than 24 hours after he was released from the agency’s custody. The move has drawn condemnation from several quarters, including Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and the US government.

However, the DSS has said Sowore was re-arrested because he resorted to “acts inimical to security” shortly after being released from its custody.

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Lagos State will not repeal jumbo pension law – Braimoh

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Lagos State will not repeal jumbo pension law - Braimoh

The Lagos State House of Assembly has revealed that they will jot tow the path of heir Zamfara counterparts by repealing the state’s pension law permitting former governors and other public office holders to receive juicy pensions from state coffers.

In an interview with NAN on Sunday, Tunde Braimoh, chairman, house committee on information and strategy, said Lagos assembly will not repeal pension law for its former governors like it was done in Zamfara.

A federal high court in Lagos had ordered the federal government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the national assembly.

The court also directed Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to receive such pensions.

Braimoh, however, faulted the court ruling that ordered Malami to take immediate legal action towards the abolishment of state laws that permit “former governors to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.”

He told NAN that as long as the law did not contravene the constitution, state assemblies had the right to make laws for the benefit of the society in which they operate.

The lawmaker said separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution empowers the legislature to make laws, the executive to implement and the judiciary to interpret the laws.

“The Supreme Court had made it clear several times that no arm of government can repeal the constitutional provisions of another arm of government,” he said.

“Therefore, legislators make laws that are in tune with the yearnings and dynamics of their society.

Braimoh said he was not aware of any law that restricted state assemblies from making laws for the provision of welfare package of former governors and public office holders.

Below are details of the pension of former governors of Lagos:

The Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pensions Law of 2007 provides one of the most lucrative pensions in the federation. The highlight is that the former governor is entitled to six new cars every three years and a house in Lagos and another in Abuja. Conservatively, a house in Lagos will cost N500 million and one in Abuja N700 million. The former governor and family (spouse and children ─ both married and unmarried) are entitled to free medical which is not capped. Another highlight is that the ex-governor is entitled to a cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff who are pensionable.

THE BENEFITS

Annual Basic Salary: 100% of annual basic salaries of the incumbent governor and deputy.

Accommodation: One residential house in Lagos and another in FCT for the former governor; one residential house in Lagos for the deputy.

Transport: Three cars, two back-up cars and one pilot car for the ex-governor every three years; two cars, two back-up cars and one pilot car for the deputy every three years.

Furniture: 300% of annual basic salary every two years.

House maintenance: 10% of annual basic salary.

Domestic staff: Cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff (no limit) who shall be pensionable.

Medical: Free medical treatment for ex-governor and deputy and members of their families (not just spouses).

Security: Two SSS operatives, one female officer, eight policemen (four each for house and personal security) for the ex-governor; one SSS operative and two policemen (one each for house and personal security) for the deputy.

PA: 25% of annual basic salary.

Car maintenance: 30% of annual basic salary.

Entertainment: 10% of annual basic salary.

Utility: 20% of annual basic salary.

Drivers: Pensionable (no limit to number of drivers).

Severance gratuity: Not specified.

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DSS denies invading court to arrest Sowore, says it was staged

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DSS denies invading court to arrest Sowore, says it was staged

The DSS has come out to deny claims that its operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday and forcefully taking Omoyele Sowore away less than 24 hours after he was finally released on bail.

In a statement signed by Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson, the secret police said Sowore’s supporters were the ones acting an “orchestrated drama”, adding that the viral video of the incident did not show any of its officers. He further denied that his operatives disrupting proceedings and chasing away presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu,

Afunanya said, “Our personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident.

The agency further said that “in actual fact, it was his (Sowore’s) people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for — simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute”.

 

“Eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.

In the statement, the department also explained the reason for going after Sowore less than 12 hours after releasing him.

The DSS said following his release, the activist “resorted to acts inimical to security”.

The agency said, “It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts. In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest.

 

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Ganduje gives Emir Sanusi new appointment amidst new emirates battle

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Ganduje gives Emir Sanusi new appointment amidst new emirates battle

Amidst the brewing political tension in Kano, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II as the first chairman of the newly-formed State Council of Chiefs.

The appointment was announced amid the face-off between Ganduje and Emir Sanusi over the creation of new Kano emirates signed into law last week by Ganduje. There had been speculations that the Emir of Bichi, Aminu Bayero, would be appointed to chair the council.

In a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Abba Anwar, Ganduje ordered Sanusi to summon council meeting immediately.

A court had earlier nullified the creation of four new emirates in Kano though the Kano government still insists on recognising them.

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