The Emir of Kano Muhammed Sanusi II, is a man after my heart. He was an exceptionally brilliant banker and a consummate economist of high repute. He is a good orator with an in-depth knowledge of Nigeria’s economic history. He knows so much and knows it so fluently. Sanusi is a courageous man who fears nobody. He speaks with facts and figures and in most cases always very apt with facts, irrespective of whose ox is gored. Sanusi is an activist who believes in Nigeria and Nigerians and always ready to speak and protest about society’s anomalies.
As emir, he sees himself as the mouthpiece of the defenseless masses that bear the brunt of governance elites misrule and mismanagement. As a corporate banker of the highest pedestal who spent the significant part of his working life in the magnificent office environment, he did not know the level of decadence in the country, not until when the leadership position beckoned and he became the emir of Kano. Then, the stark reality of poverty and squalor became apparent to our referred emir. Since that time till now, Sanusi has picked up the gauntlet to speak to the conscience of men of power who have mortgaged people’s lives on the altar of politics.
As a first-class traditional ruler, Sanusi is a very enlightened person; he always has an argument, a theme, something which appeals to mind whether or not you agree with him. Sanusi is the only traditional ruler in the country who can bell the cat; the only one that looks at the political office holders straight in the eyes, maintains vigorous eye contact, and tell them the home truth. I cherished his argumentative capacity in the realm of debate, in most cases, he often argues convincingly even, if the message he is trying to pass to the public may be unacceptable to the people concern or the government.
With the accession to his fore-father’s throne, one would think that the garb of activism must have been shed aside, but the more embedded he became in traditional institutions, the more frustrated he becomes, having been privy to a lot of statistical information and fact about Nigerians sordid financial dealings. Of course, his frustration stems from the fact that there is abject poverty in the North and nothing seemed to have been done by those saddled with responsibility (elected politicians and political office holders) to ameliorate this vicious cycle of poverty trap which has been ever-widening by financial mismanagement.
As an enigma, you need to stoop to conquer the evil machination of politicians who see themselves as the alpha and omega, an institution that must be idolized, ever revered in their erring and erratic disposition. The modern constitutional government has rendered traditional institutions powerless, ineffectual, lame duck and moribund. The stark reality is that traditional institution has lost its steam in the power equation. They are canonized to perform ceremonial functions within the ambit of the law in their territorial perimeter.
Nigerian politicians of all hues decry criticism, most especially one emanating from the first-among-equals traditional ruler of Sanusi caliber. Therefore, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje Umar action-adventure of dismantling Kano historical heritage is hinge on the Emir preference for opposition candidate during the general election in Kano state which was antithetical to GAGU interest and his supposed friends at the center (Abuja) who felt his critical uppercut jab whenever he criticize the government. It is apparent from all indications that they felt betrayed by his sudden romance with the opposition in the PMB stronghold. To shift the burden of proof away from them, they fiddle and pretend as if it is Ganduje’s war of nerves. President Buhari’s recent statement of non-interference on state and constitutional issues lend credence to this assertion
Historical antecedent shows that no governor can remove a sitting traditional ruler without the consent of the federal government. Abiola Ajimobi, former governor of Oyo state, an in-law to Ganduje, failed in his attempt to dethrone Olubadan because of the support enjoyed from the “Big Brother” in Abuja. Invariably, one should thread softly, knowing that nothing lasts forever even our life has a terminal date of expiration. The frustration attached to deposition is far worse and life-threatening than this ephemeral desecration which makes the confronter unnecessarily vociferous and designated opposition to the ruling elite. A deposed ruler has lost his freedom and voice tentatively if not permanently. Thus, pragmatism should be maintained in dignifying silence rather than been fed with the poisoned chalice concoction intentionally prepared to dethrone.
Rotimi S. Bello,