Man has been known to abhor his savior since the beginning of time. When Prophet Isa (Jesus) (PBUH) was sent to the Israelites as their savior, he was heckled, harassed and beaten by them after rejecting his message. In the same manner, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) whose message was to all of mankind was rejected by his people in Makkah and had to emigrate to Madinah to be appreciated and for his message to take root. Here, the most important thing was these messengers of Allah remained steadfast and unrelenting in their teachings to mankind, and today, many centuries after, the messages have struck a chord and their religions have growing followers.
Today, they are two of the most celebrated and revered humans to ever live. Their messages and teachings have survived the times but profound is the practice of rejecting both the message and the messenger; this is bound to remain with us till eternity.
The greatest mistake our generation has made and is continually making is the fact that we have refused to carve a niche for ourselves and speak out in our own voice, we have refused to make our own path and walk on it, instead, we have chosen to continue to abide by and preserve the societal rules made by the people before us, forgetting that those rules were made by humans like us. The world is forever evolving and unless it’s a rule made by God, they should be capable of change.
We are so fixated on reading books such as “48 laws of power” and practicing what’s in the book with occultic fervor as if it is some supreme rule sent down by God, forgetting it was a man who wrote those laws, alas making us treat life like a game.
The truth is, until we stop treating life itself like it’s some sort of game, we will never escape being in this pitiful state or get things right.
It is high time this generation make their own path according to the realities of our times. The Einsteins, The Aristotles and the Shakespeares etc were all visionaries of some sort, of their times; today, even though it is necessary to study these people, we have refused to produce those kind of legends in our own lifetime.
The Emir of Kano, HRH, Muhammadu Sanusi II, some days ago, made a presentation at Kaduna State Investment promotion summit, in which he addressed an array of societal problems bedeviling Northern Nigeria.
I was among the audience during his speech, my first time in the presence of the revered emir, who by the way, is one of the few role models I have.
In his speech, he reprimanded conservative northern leaders who discourage attitudes and activities that he said, would have developed the region. The highlight of his speech to me was the criticism of Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state for his controversial gibberish on the meningitis outbreak in his State and others as God’s punishment for the peoples’ sins.
It was one of the most courageous act I have personally seen a traditional ruler engage in in this country, in my lifetime, criticizing a Governor who is presumably your superior as far as our constitution is concerned.
I was speechless the next day when the social media was awash with criticism of Emir Sanusi’s speech, while I though to myself and asked if I missed anything,
Because, as far as i was concerned, there is this adage in Hausa “Gyara Kayan Ka, bai zama sauke mu raba ba” Which roughly translates to, “telling you to tidy your luggages doesn’t mean, I am saying, bring it down and let’s share them between us”. I couldn’t understand what the hullabaloo was all about.
Someone telling you to improve yourself doesn’t translate to them telling you to come and fight them.
While the rage continued, I said in my mind that Emir Sanusi as a person, is accomplished; he and his family, as far as the present reality we are in as a nation is concerned, are set for life, he is wealthy and highly educated and I’m pretty sure, he is going to pass that level of education on to his kids, but for him to lead a society that is socially and economically backward, will also be a disaster to his reign and legacy.
Emir Sanusi’s outspoken and fearless nature together with his intelligence are reasons I consider him my role model. I needed to see people like Emir Sanusi to reassure myself I’m not mad or abnormal especially when I’m going on about any matter I feel strongly about.
A lot of people tell me I am an activist, but they have no clue about how much I hate the activist tag. its a tag that make people feel too important about themselves, makes them feel like they are doing an extraordinary thing when infact, they are being normal and human.
But Emir Sanusi’s blunt criticism of our successive leaders who have been responsible for the underdevelopment and Impoverishment of Northern Nigerian, was perceived to be too harsh and some people assume the criticism was aimed at ordinary Northerners and Emir Sanusi is arrogantly looking down on the poor, a ridiculous assumption if I may add, when in fact, he was putting his throne and elitism on the line to fight for the common man. But again, a large number of people also supported the emirs assertion, so I concluded it’s a normal thing for people to always stand for or against an issue of that magnitude.
However, after reading Gimba Kakanda’s piece, it became clear to me how we try to interpret issues based on our emotion and sentiments. While I agree with most of his piece: I equally wanted to write about it since that episode, but I felt, it would make little difference given that our people always turn against those that stand with them anyways, it’s a fact that, some humans are always emotionally attached to their abusers, something I will never ever understand as a person, but there were equally a lot of people from the north that stood with Emir Sanusi, so there was no need to make it look like the entire north was demonising Him because of his statements.
Before this new episode, the Emir was equally one of the few highly influential Nigerians from the North who were able to muster the courage to criticise President Buhari in the open. I’m aware, a lot others might have done that privately, but His criticism then came at a time when it was business of some sort to barrage the President with misguided antics in the name of criticism. It was so overwhelming, we had to defend the President against every tom, dick and harry spewing Inane trash in the name of criticism. Some of these critics were known to be agents of opposition politicians and since it was no longer business as usual for them, they found new trade in bashing the president for a fee. also certain saboteurs in the APC because they have ambition to succeed PMB, while some of them were just disgruntled elements that were bent on painting the government of Buhari bad, wanted to be noticed.
So it was actually a breath of fresh air to some of us “Buhari fanatics” to see some one in the calibre of Emir Sanusi actually speak truth and become a credible critic in the midst of pretenders, to draw the President’s attention to some of his shortcomings as Nigeria’s President.
Some of you might actually see us as blind supporters, but our support for President Buhari is candidly because we believe having him as our President is a golden opportunity we need to fix nigeria and without the necessary support he needs to succeed against agents of anti reforms in nigeria, he will never succeed, so there is no way in the world, we will get in the way of credible criticism of his govt. And even though the critics always ignore our massages, we have always told them, we are not against them criticizing the president, we don’t have any right whatsoever to deny people from criticizing him, but we equally have the right to criticize their style of criticism.
It was so invigorating to some of us, even though Emir Sanusi’s allegations about forex dealings in the central bank then was astounding as well as an eye-opener, I personally never doubted him for once, I wanted the President to act by either summoning Emefiele or even showing him the way out.
A lot of us Buharists welcomed his criticism of the president openly, some were silently in support of it while few misguided, blind and ignorable ones did lambasted the Emir.
Now, President Buhari is human and has a lot of supporters, both informed and uninformed ones, as like every other leader that has cult following.
Prophet Muhammad and Jesus (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon them) both have followers, both good and bad, some commit heinous crimes in the name of their religions, but those people should be blamed for their actions, since we all know the people they support will never endorse their actions, but some of you seem to hide behind these actions to express your hatred for these prophets and leaders.
I was taken aback when i read my brother, Gimba Kakanda’s piece about the misinterpretation of Emir Sanusi, I was actually tagged on the piece by one of my closest friends who due to our different political views and engagements online some times, people think we are like enemies, unknown to them, he is one of the closest friends I have.
After reading his nearly apt piece, I noticed, he was still hung up on the narrative they tried to paint when the Emir criticized PMB, I thought to myself, why ruin a beautiful piece by smudging it with a sentimental perception.
If he was truly sincere about this issue, Most Buharists shared Emir Sanusi’s view when he criticized the president, but He mischievously decided to ride with that of misinformed supporters who I doubt have a stronger voice than the informed supporters. But Since the misinformed one’s view fit perfectly into the narrative they were trying and still trying to paint, a narrative we renounced then by the way, he chosed to go with it. Which I found preposterous. For the record, most of the Buharists I know, value Emir Sanusi’s view, I know I don’t speak for all of them officially, but most of the ones I know share the same view and am pretty sure Gimba knows this. So it always appear to be like they are trying to force that negative narrative on us. Personally, I am a Buharist and I have always supported almost every thing Emir sanusi’s does, you need to understand that it doesn’t mean the emir is always right or perfect and won’t meet some form of opposing views, even if they are illiterates, they are people too that are bound to have their own views.
My problem with most social intellectuals is, there are more pseudo intellectuals than genuine ones, the problem stem from the fact that we tend to rate people based on the number of followers they have on and off social media and their social media verification badge, in the process, we give conceited individuals with jarring attitudes and buncombe views significance. We massage their egos and they in turn become intellectual dictators, that don’t like being challenged, once you challenge them, they either block you on social media or feel they are superior to you. Forgetting that, in life, your ability to engage others successfully is actually your measure of intelligence. Disagreeing with some one doesn’t mean they are entirely wrong, it means, let’s disagree and learn from one another.
But as long as you don’t use all the sophisticated words in the dictionary to communicate, you are unintelligent, a lot of people get misled because of sophisticated words.
Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon became famous because of his big words, people never cared if he is making sense or not, he is like an entertainer to them, Honourable Gudaji Kazaure too became famous because of his poor English vocabulary, it wasn’t the sense he was making that attracted people to him, but his poor vocabulary which he has continually used humorously to communicate with Nigerians, but in the process they got to know he is atleast one of the most credible and vibrant members of HOR, I know for a fact, there are many people that will name him among their best representative in the parliament, ignoring his spoken English. It then mean, even though it’s necessary to be sound in English, your refusal to used big words doesn’t mean you are not making sense, and likewise, using big words doesn’t mean you are making sense either.
As much as I agree with a lot of things Emir Sanusi does and say, there are bound to be people that will disagree with him, and rightfully so.
I read Jaafar Jaafar’s scarthing article accusing emir Sanusi of financial misappropriation, I have no right to doubt his sincerity in writing such scrutinising piece about his ruler, he is his subject and has every right to question the emirs finance dealings as his leader, I might not agree with him but I have to respect it. That’s the beauty of criticism, and we can’t really place him among the uninformed ones, can we? so it’s important we understand that entertaining opposing views is something that whether we like it or not we have to get used to. The emir in criticising the northern leaders have in the process, invited other people, even informed ones like Jaafar Jaafar who aren’t religion conservatives questioning his sincerity in his activities as a monarch, rightfully so, even though a lot of us believed he is one of the best and sincere ones we have around. It then means, he can’t be perfect himself, no man can be.
Emir Sanusi’s daughter, Princess shahidah Sanusi, Represented him during the third anniversary of the abduction of Chibok Girls and BBOG, I watched as it generated a lot of hoopla on social media, some people like myself didn’t have problem with it and were in support of it, as it acted as a shift in the norms of traditional institutions in northern nigeria, a young princess representing a respected arewa king like emir of Kano in an official capacity, while a lot of conservatives were infuriated, as to them, it’s a taboo, it’s a dent in a well respected traditional institution like Kano emirate, to me, even though I support the emirs action, I respect and understood their rage, they are radical semi educated conservatives, besides, it’s a tradition that dates back to more than two centuries ago, only for a “westernized” emir to come and “disintegrate” their institution. to them, it’s like smudging the sanctity of their institution, sending princes and princesses in their early 20s instead of your traditional title holders to represent you might be normal in monarchies like United Kingdom, United Arab Emirate, Sweden and Monaco etc, but in Kano emirate, it’s a new thing to them, the king is not a dictator to expect not to have opposing views about that.
It’s new to them, it will take time for them to get used to it, but the bottom line is, The king can do whatever he pleases, provided, he believes in his reforms and they are within the confines of the law, some of these reforms were welcomed by these same set of people he leads, they are bound to reject some, that’s the beauty of life. We can never agree on everything.
Even though I have always been a believer in mild criticism, I feel you get better result with it, but there are scenarios that require harsh criticism, the socio-economic underdevelopment of northern nigeria and the plight of the common man in the region requires harsh criticism, but the fact that Emir sanusi is a leader there and some of us support this perception doesn’t mean others that disagree with his views shouldn’t Air theirs too, they might have strong point to back up their views too. We can always agree to disagree
The Emir himself I am sure is open to criticisms, that’s what makes him a leader, he might know more than a lot of his followers, but he doesn’t know it all.
Dr Ibrahim Dooba told a story of how his article criticizing the emir was shared by his friend who happens to know the emir into a whatsapp group the emir belongs to, even though Dr Dooba is a respected columnist, the emir can decide to equally block him in life as his status as the emir of Kano, even though constitutionally, Even a local Govt chairman is above an emir, traditionally, even a governor respects emirs because of the sanctity of our traditional institutions, because of the respect they command as they are the custodians of our society, but the emir (Unofficially ofcourse) decided to clarify some issues He raised in his write up, and Dr dooba understood and even apologized for the ones he was wrong about the emir.
If people that criticize others can’t accept criticism themselves, that makes them unfit critics, as it means, they feel they know it all, and no mortal knows it all. Only God and to some extent HIS messengers know it all.
Criticising the way others lead or criticise shouldn’t be mistaken for hatred, we can’t continue to be on each others throats if indeed we are all fighting to improve our country and the living conditions of our people.
I have had people that have stopped engaging, talking to me and even blocked me because we have different political or even social views, The problem is with our generation not wanting to entertain opposing views for the sake of learning.
So I want Gimba to understand that People having opposing views from yours or criticising your ways doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be great, probably hundred years from now, students will be studying Emir Sanusi in universities across the world.
Mu’awiyyah Yusuf Muye Is on twitter as @MP_Muye