Hundreds of supporters of the newly appointed emir of Kano in Nigeria have clashed with backers of his main rival for the key post.

Supporters of the new emir, the ousted former central bank chief Sanusi Lamido, gathered in the country's second-biggest city on Monday, wearing white robes and red caps, the AFP news agency reported.

A crowd in support of Sanusi's rival for the role, the late emir's eldest son, Aminu Ado Bayero, attacked Sanusi's supporters as they headed to the state government headquarters.

According to AFP, Bayero's backers were armed with machetes, sticks and clubs.

Sanusi's appointment, announced by the Kano state government on Sunday, came after emir Ado Abdullahi Bayero died on Friday aged 83 after a long battle with cancer.

The new emir was suspended from his post at the bank in February by President Goodluck Jonathan after presenting parliament with evidence that the state oil firm Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to pay $20bn into federal coffers.

The position of the emir of Kano was much sought after as it is the second-highest Islamic religious authority in Nigeria.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of President Jonathan reportedly backed Bayero's eldest son for the position while the main opposition party, the All Progressives Alliance (APC) lobbied for Sanusi. 

Source: Agencies