Now that Sanusi is Emir… By, Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir
Having faith in fate is one of the most difficult things to do on earth. But it is the easiest thing that makes a slave master, a pauper wealthy, a subject leader a commoner king and vice versa.
So much has been written about the man formerly know and addressed as Sanusi Lamido Sanusi now known as His Royal Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II. A man of uncommon qualities. A man who mean different things to different people. A man we see differently depending on the angle of the prism you are viewing from or at what vantage point you stand.
For many, Sanusi was non existent until President Umaru Musa Yar’adua “flung” him on the Nigerian nation atop the apex bank. But for many still, Sanusi has been with us for as long as we can remember.
The first history teacher of this writer was his paternal grand father. He took me round all the great royal kingdoms. A proud Nupe man who delight in telling his grand children of the great feats of men of yesteryears.
He had collections of pictures of leaders and rulers; political, religious and traditional. Just like the picture of his first trip on pilgrimage to Mecca on foot. I first saw Sanusi’s picture as a young boy in full royal outfit with his grandfather; Emir Muhammadu Sanusi been greeted by a foreign visitor. I was in primary school then in the early 80s.
My grandfather showed me the picture and said in Nupe “Etsu Kano esu”. He repeated in Hausa “Sarkin Kanun gobe” meaning the future Emir of Kano pointing at the young lad in full royal regalia. Incidentally, like many of his pronouncement, Sanusi was turbanned Emir 23 years after his death. He died in 1991 at the ripe age of 100 plus. That same picture was published by Leadership Newspaper on Friday a week after his turbanning.
So, for this writer, following the activities of Emir Sanusi II started long ago. Like I wrote on facebook in the face of all the hubris thrown at the man to oppose his emergence by subterfugerian forces, for a start, HRH SLS has never hidden his passion and ambition to be the Emir of Kano. He once asserted that he would rather be the Emir than Nigeria’s President. Like a child of an accomplished Lawyer, Judge, Military officer, Medical Doctor, Politician, Journalist, business tycoon who aspire to be like his/her parent. Anytime an Emir dies, Princes (and Kano has many) vie for the throne. So SLS was not an exception.
May be some of us knew little or nothing about SLS’s “activism” before his emergence as CBN Governor. Before then, he was as critical of the royal institution as he was of religious, economical and political ones. SLS took on late Sheik Ja’afar Adams. He took on Mallam Kabir Yusuf and the whole Media Trust to defend the then Father Mathew Hassan Kukah of Oputa Panel fame. He took on proponent of “political sharia” and fundamentalism. His work caption “diary of the adulterer” is a case in study. He took on Kwankwaso while in office as 1st time Governor and worked with others to deny him re-election in 2003. Then no one branded him an opposition.
Very few if any know that one of the best buildings in St Anne Catholic Primary School, Kakuri Kaduna was built by SLS as an alumnus of that school. Few more know that SLS knows and understands the Bible better than some Christians. Yet they call him Islamic fundamentalist. He is fluent in Hausa, English, Arabic, French with sparing Fulde.
Like I said then “If anyone is going to hate SLS for his “fight” with GEJ or alleged stolen billions, the days ahead will vindicate SLS the more. So far no stain has been able to stick to his character as some would have us believed in his tenure as CBN Gov. Not even from the Financial Regulation Council of Nigeria (FRCN)”.
His detailed account as published by ThisDay newspaper of Monday March 17, 2014 on pages 12, 13, 88 and 89 caught many of his detractors and powers that be pant down. Till date, no one has factually contradicted Sanusi’s submission.
Continuing then, I wrote that “but to cap it up, Aminu Ado Bayero is even more loved in Kano than his elder brother Sanusi Lamido Ado Bayero but could not even make the list. Of the three finalists; Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Dan Majen Kano, Sanusi Ado Bayero; Ciroman Kano and Alhaji Abbas Sanusi; Wamban Kano out of which SLS was picked, Abbas is SLS’s uncle whose father (SLS’s grand father) Muhammadu Sanusi was Emir. Sanusi Ado Bayero is SLS’s uncle too whose father Ado Bayero was Emir.
“Only SLS’s father was not Emir and destiny seemed favourable to him. Again, When Ado Bayero was enthroned, there was also protest because some preferred Aminu Sanusi (SLS’s father) to him. We had same case in Sokoto with Sultans Macido and Dasuki just as in other places.
“Even if Sanusi Ado Bayero had made it, there would still have been protest. If it was not SLS that was enthroned, this protest would have been tagged “sponsored by SLS, Kwankwaso, APC” among others.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, SLS’s enthronement is going to silence him on many national issues; he is going to be tempered, humble and royalty personified. A new era has begun in the colourful and sophisticated Kano emirate. HRH SLS shall bring his classy touch to royalty so long unequalled. May his reign be peaceful and progressive”.
Since writing the above weeks back, many water has passed under the bridge. Those who attempted to stop his enthronement seemed and by all acts showed that they had little knowledge of, or were totally ignorant of palace politics. They did not loose, they went back to their vomits and swallow the filth.
In fact, for many who are accusing him of being a product of the ruling Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) in Kano and delusionally asserting that he was installed to better the lot of the party come 2015, they ignorantly forgot that PDP loose the presidential election there in 2011. Did late Emir Ado Bayero influence that? Same in Kaduna State. Did Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris influence that too?
Many have accused Sanusi of arrogancy in an hyper-active mode. Many see him as loquacious and in the process always bite more than he can chew. But if you were privileged to attend Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, you would be tutored on the history of some of our “big men” in various positions today. Sanusi is not an exception. There you will get to know why Vice President Namadi Sambo is called “escape”. Why Ahmadu Adamu Muazu is a business mogul. Why Abdulkadir Kure is an “Ustaz”. Why Ghali Umar Na’aba is so “taciturn” and why Donald Duke and his wife are “natural leaders”.
Sanusi contributed to varied debate; local, national and international during his days in United Bank of Africa (UBA). It was a delight reading him on any issue in those days. You may disagree with him on certain issues, but will surely get enlightened.
In his class are the likes of Adamu Adamu and Dr Aliyu Tilde. The trio can take on varied issues and do justice to it. Their knowledge of religion give then an edge any day. As a result, some tagged them Shi’ite, Sunni, Izala, Tariqa depending on who is doing the interpretation and on what issue they decide to write or talk about.
For those who saw Sanusi as opposing the same government under which he served, we forget so soon that Sanusi took on the late President Yar’adua and “rubbished” his many points agenda after his nomination and during his clearance by the Senate. Yar’adua never took it personal and declare a fight with him. Another President would have done otherwise as the case of his CBN ouster.
Again Sanusi took on the National Assembly when he raised an alarm about certain percentage of the budget they gulp annually. The relationship between him and NASS went so sour that some people attempted to wittle down the power of the CBN governor by denying it its autonomy. Less we forget, at the fund raising for the flood victims in Abuja, Sanusi refused to make public the CBN donation and jokingly to Aliko Dangote that if he announced their amount, there would be a public hearing and he was not ready to appear before the law makers for that.
At the peak of his disagreement with the National Assembly, and when they attempted arm twisting him to apologise for what they felt he has done or not done, for those of us who would have forgotten or didn’t know, Sanusi’s response was “…by my nature, if I am not convinced that I’m wrong, I do not apologise and this is really where the point is. I’m not tired of my job, but if you want me to resign, I will resign. The Central Bank is not my life…”
Till he quit the CBN, the relationship between him and the NASS, just like that of his friend Nasiru Ahmed El-rufai was never cordial.
Again, when Sanusi came out and raised alarm about missing 48 billion dollars, the powers that be said he was wrong with some calling him names. But until Sanusi raised that alarm, Ministry of Finance, NNPC and those concerned never cared to “reconcile” their accounts. But even after “reconciling” their accounts, they could not account for 10 of the alleged missing 48. Till date no convincing explanation has been given.
Few if any still remember that Sanusi it was who started the agricultural revolution. He was the one who was always inviting Dr Adesina into Nigeria to deliver lectures on varied issues. Today Adesina is one of the best performing Ministers in this administration and no one gives Sanusi the credit.
Sanusi it was who raised alarm about billions being siphoned in the name of subsidy. His infamous campaign for subsidy removal is still fresh in oir minds. But today, Nigerians are aware of more subsidy thieves than ever before.
For these and more, Sanusi is seen differently, but all that was in the past. He is now Emir of Kano; a life time ambition which came to be and made even more possible by winning him more sympathisers by the manner he was pushed out of CBN. The day he would have ended his tenure at the apex bank and the day he was turbanned would have been just eleven days apart. But the presidency quicken the pace for him by ensuring he got more rest and even bullied the more.
The seizure of his international passport and denial to travel out even in the face of court injunctions also helped his cause a great deal.
No where and at no time in recent Nigeria’s history has the powers that be and even those without bearing shown so much interest in who succeeds an Emir like in the case of Kano and Sanusi’s. But no time has desperation to cling to power has been so inordinate as we witness now.
But now Sanusi is Emir and all that is in the past. Now that Sanusi is the Emir, he can not act out his activism. He can not speak out his activism. He can not write out his activism. He can nott criticise the ruling class as he used to, neither the political, religious nor economical class. Sanusi has been silenced by the paraphanalia of royalty and the traditional institution. His lips sealed and only can actively participate in activism through his body language.
Now that Sanusi is Emir, he has joined the ruling class of which he has always been part of but now at the apex. Yet, he is of the ruling class that the poor and downtrodden look up to protect their interest and side with them anytime there is a disagreement.
Now that Sanusi is Emir, he has to learn to speak truth to the authorities like he has always done; but now he has to learn to do so diplomatically in a tempered manner and without many ears hearing it or eyes seeing. He has to learn to speak without uttering a word. He has to make the deaf hear, the dumb speak without a sign language. He has to make the blind see without a touch. Above all, he has to make the politically corrupt, the morally bankrupt, the religiously extremist among others listen to him, adhere to his counceling and act in his wisdom without uttering much.
Now that Sanusi is Emir, he can’t be Suni, Shi’ite, Izala or Tariqa; he has to be all and none at the same time. The adherents of these varied sects all belong to him as he belongs to them.
That Sanusi is Emir, he would want to re-enact the regality of his grand father’s reign. But he needs to remember that he can not be as power as his grandfather. He needs to remember that his grandfather was the Emir, Governor, Commissioner of Police, Comptrollers of Prison, Immigration, Custom, the Chief Imam, the Chief Judge, the Grand Khadi among others all rolled into one of Kano.
He was only answerable to the Premier of Northern region then. A Premier who the Emir was richer than, more glamorous than, had more aides than and even earned more than. But today all that has changed and Muhammadu Sanusi II can not be Muhammadu Sanusi I. The changes that have occurred between then and now are enormous.
Now that Sanusi is Emir, he needs to be conscious of all these and more to be successful, to have a peaceful and progressive reign as a modern day Emir.
Now that Sanusi is Emir, it is time t bring to bear his local, national and global connection to take Kano to another lofty height for peace, harmony, progress, growth and development. In the service of humanity, in the service of God Almighty to the benefit of the majority in the interest of the poor that constitute the majority of his subjects.
May Allah guide and guard us to the right path. Allah Ya ja zamanin Sarki. Ran Sarki ya dade.
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