How PDP, Presidency’s Blackmail and Propaganda Failed to Stop Sanusi’s Emergence as Emir
By Sahara Reporters
Blackmail and negative propaganda were widely deployed at the weekend in the selection of the Emir of Kano, but rather than halt the emergence of Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the new Emir, they aided his emergence as successor to late Alhaji Ado Bayero a reality, SaharaReporters investigations have revealed.
Powerful forces working against the former Central Bank Governor recruited pundits who dominated discussions in Kano and social media, peddling negative stories against Sanusi and even announcing a “successor” in an effort to preempt the king makers and the Kano state government when the latter had not announced a decision.
The actions of the anti-Sanusi force were downright dirty, sometimes petty. In some cases, they even raised questions of morality, which they believed rendered Sanusi ineligible to ascend to the throne of Emir.
Some mainstream media in Nigeria, such as the African Independent Television and at least one newspaper both fell for the a speculation that Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero, the eldest son of the late Emir, had been chosen as successor to the throne, a claim the Kano State government hurriedly debunked.
The Nigerian presidency and members of ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) constituted the bulk of the anti-Sanusi Lamido Sanusi campaign. In an unprecedented and spectacularly embarrassing manner, the PDP hurriedly issued a statement congratulating a contender to the throne, when such an appointment had not even been officially announced, apparently to throw the process into chaos or influence it. The congratulatory message, dripping with flattery and sycophancy, was signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary. Olisa Metuh.
After the Kano state government’s rebuttal of the PDP’s congratulatory message, the party then promptly withdrew the statement and blamed an aide for it.
Other internal squabbles, according to a credible source, heightened the contest as many kicked against Sanusi’s choice on the basis of his personality and some ‘controversies’ that were felt were capable of working against him.
It was gathered that associates of children of the late Emir Bayero joined in the scheming on many fronts but relaxed after it became clear that they could make no progress with their efforts.
Meanwhile, also on ground was the pro-Sanusi camp, particularly those who shared the sentiment that he had been unjustly sacked and persecuted from the CBN, and was being deliberately smeared in the race for Emir.
Also notable is the role of the All Progressives Party (APC) chieftains, led by Bola Tinubu, who demonstrated strong presence in countering and deflating the anti-Sanusi movement. The former governor of Lagos State led to other former governors of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki and Shaaba Lafiaji, as well as Kawu Baraje and Rotimi Amaechi, to Kano. While Tinubu made a short condolence appearance to the governor of Kano State over the death of Ado Bayero, he left Governor Rotimi Amaechi to take charge of events at the Governor’s lodge until a final Emir was chosen.
Inside sources said the king makers rated Sanusi highly considering his contributions to the emirate in terms of deepening Islamic scholarship, his leadership qualities, broad-minded nature, grasp of tradition, charisma and his philanthropy in the emirate.
The initial anxiety that Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso could turn against Sanusi was borne out of Sanusi’s role in helping Kwankwaso’s opponent to defeat him in Kano after his first tenure but all that fizzled when put against the fact that Sanusi had reportedly spent some N60 billion of CBN funds on projects in Kano State since Kwankwaso came back to power.
SaharaReporters learnt that President Goodluck Jonathan mobilized the Emir of Sokoto and other northern leaders loyal to him to prevail on Kwankwaso not to appoint Lamido Sanusi as Emir. Our source revealed that those Emirs were interested in stopping Lamido out of fear that he was too aggressive and radical, meaning he would not be afraid to criticize them especially if they try to help President Jonathan during his 2015 campaigns. Several of them were also understood to lean towards the idea of having their children succeed them, as was done in Gombe. In that sense, they felt that Sanusi becoming an Emir could jeopardize their lineage calculations.
At the end, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was brought in to weigh in on the Kano governor. Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari also made calls to prevail on the governor of Kano to pick Sanusi.
As the evening approached, Kwankwaso made the decision to appoint Lamido Sanusi as the Emir, a move which observers said was based on his personal convictions. The decision had nearly been announced when rioting broke out around the Emir’s place, but the riot soon died down as people went for evening prayers.
Fearing the worst as the end-game approached, President Jonathan activated a series of moves to thwart Sanusi’s ascension to the throne as Emir of kano. A team of State Security Services officials were dispatched to arrest Mr. Sanusi and prevent him from being turbaned. But the Kano State governor was tipped off and he told Sanusi to remain in the Governor’s lodge until the turbaning on Monday.
By evening time and to prevent Governor Amaechi and his team from leaving Kano, the Presidency also gave an order that all private jets out of Kano be stopped and impounded. A jet chartered to convey the Amaechi-led APC team out of Kano was therefore prevented from taking off, and Amaechi and other leaders had to drive from Kano to Abuja all night.
Unable to frustrate the emergence of Sanusi as Emir, President Jonathan is yet to congratulate him upon his appointment. The president also did not send a delegation to the turbaning today, as is the tradition.
The new Emir received his appointment letter from the Kano State Government today at Government House, pledging that peace and stability will be his watchwords, and that his policies and decisions will be guided by the principles of Islam. He was turbaned later in the afternoon.
Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was born in Kano N on July 31, 1961.
He obtained degrees in Economics and Islamic Law from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the International University of Africa, Khartoum. After teaching economics for two years at the Ahmadu Bello University, he started a banking career in 1985 with Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers) and later worked with the United Bank for Africa Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
His banking career spanned various fields including issuing House activity, Financial Advisory Services and Credit marketing. However, it was in the field of Risk Management that he earned his professional reputation, having distinguished himself as the Chief Risk Officer in the two largest banks in the Country, UBA Plc and FBN Plc. He rose to the position of Group Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of First Bank Plc, the largest bank in the country in January, 2009 and was appointed the 10th Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June, 2009.
His father, Muhammad Lamido Sanusi was a technocrat and a career diplomat who served as the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs after serving as Nigerian Ambassador to Canada, Belgium and China.
Sanusi was arrested and detained for a prolonged period in 1995 by the General Sanni Abacha regime allegedly for having ties with Islamic radical elements in Sudan after he studied there.
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