Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi denies family rift in Nigeria

Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi (c) The new emir blamed the trouble on "outsiders"

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The new Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, has denied that there is a family rift over his appointment, following clashes in the Nigerian city.

His supporters have clashed with those of a rival candidate - the son of the former emir, who died last Friday.

Mr Sanusi was appointed on Sunday to the post, making him Nigeria's second most senior Muslim leader.

He was sacked as central bank governor this year after making accusations of massive fraud in the oil sector.

In his first public comment since taking the throne, Mr Sanusi said: "I want to assure you that there is no family rift at all, we're all together, and we belong to the same family".

He said that the trouble was the work of "outsiders [seeking to] to destabilise our state".

Rival supporters carrying weapons such as machetes and knives clashed and set up burning barricades on the streets but the situation is now reported to be calm.

The previous emir, al-Haji Ado Bayero, died after a long illness at the age of 83 on Friday.

The Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, pictured in 2006 Ado Bayero was a successful businessman and had worked as a banker, police officer, MP and diplomat

The state government in Kano made the decision after four "kingmakers" had met and submitted nominees.

Those eligible had to be male members of the Ibrahim Dabo family - whose clans include the Bayeros and Sanusis.

Some Kano residents said the late emir's eldest son, and Mr Sanusi's cousin, Lamido Ado Bayero, should have succeeded his father.

The governing People's Democratic Party on Sunday announced that Mr Bayero had been chosen, before withdrawing its statement, saying it had been issued in error.

Correspondents say Nigeria's traditional leaders hold few constitutional powers, but are able to exert significant influence especially in the north where they are seen as custodians of both religion and tradition.

Lamido Sanusi, file pic Lamido Sanusi was named central bank governor of the year in 2010

Mr Sanusi was widely respected for reforming Nigeria's banking sector and was named central bank governor of the year in 2010.

One of his roles now will be helping tackle the mounting insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the north.

The group has accused traditional Muslim rulers of failing to enforce its strict interpretation of the Koran.

The late emir survived an assassination attempt last year blamed on the Islamist group.

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