Since 2019 it was visible to the blind that it was only a matter of time before Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State would show Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the exit door from the throne of his forefathers.
Even though his ascension to the throne was trailed by controversy as he was allegedly compensated for his vociferous role in the alleged missing oil revenue during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan and his subsequent removal as the CBN Governor.
This dethronement as the Emir of Kano is indeed akin to a repeat of the events of 1963 that saw his grandfather dethroned and banished from Kano.
Personally I believe that this all has more to do with his non-conformist persona, one that is able to speak “his truth” irrespective of how it is perceived. As a progressive in a conservative society that is somewhat presumed to be culturally opposed to western educationSanusi has more often than not been caught up between his role as a traditional ruler and his passion for intellectual activism, what some scholars have described as Prof. Ashburners fluvial metaphor or a stream of two waters flowing in opposite direction, and don’t meddle in each other’s water. Which has constantly seen some of his friends asking him to exercise restraint in his actions sometimes as reduce radicalism/activism and the throne are antithetical to each other.
However, SLS (as he is fondly called) has consistently and regularly criticized the same oligarchy institution, he is meant to protect.
His friend, Abba B. Gumel a Professor of Mathematics based in the US’s Valley of the Sun, aptly captures it this way in an article he wrote;
“….. Sanusi was never, and never will be, the type to keep mum in the sight of corruption, lack of accountability, incompetence and/or lawlessness. That’s why Sanusi was almost always in the news speaking up against issues and policies he saw as detrimental to the well-being and progress of his people and to the nation (albeit some of us have suggested a royal silence on a few occasions). In fact, some have suggested that even Governor Kwankwaso was not entirely happy with Sanusi and had told associates that, if he were at the Kano Government House at that material time, he would have dethroned Sanusi earlier than Ganduje is attempting to do so now.”
So it wasn’t long before some predicted that he would be silenced or asked to abdicate the throne, for a less “controversial” persona, a battle he has been fighting since 2017 when he reportedly fell out with the current Governor of Kano State, Abdullai Ganduje.
Despite the allegations of financial impropriety leveled against him, an allegations quashed recently by the court in Kano, he has of late be more vociferous against issues like child marriage, street begging (almajiris) infant maternal mortality and education for the youth in the north. Almost blaming the youth restiveness in the north on the complacency of the elders of the region. Will this shut him up? Even though I doubt it will.
Kano Emirate will be the eventual loser for it though, as rightly captured by Prof. Abba B. Gumel;
“……He uses his position as Emir to enhance the living conditions of his people. For instance, Sanusi made the African Development Bank (ADB), under the leadership of his friend and colleague Akinwumi Adesina, to fund Kano Industrial Diagnostics. No state in the Nigerian federation ever had such privilege. In fact, Adesina made the ADB to consider Kano like an African country just because of his respect and association with Sanusi. The bank is in the process of re-financing a textile factory in Kano, in partnership with new Chinese investors.”
For a man who is well read and understands the dynamics and enormity of the constitutional powers of a Governor in Nigeria, I still feel he should have joined politics where he can use his powers to effect far reaching changes, instead of the throne whose powers has been whittled down by constitutional democracy which place the control of an Emir under the control of a local government chairman or a commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs.
Now listen to Abubakar Rimi in 1982 as Governor of Kano State to drive home my point.
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