Emir Sanusi and the hypocrisy of the Northern political elite

By Faith Berewa

“When you take a small mind to lead a great nation, that nation is reduced to a small nation” – Augustine Berewa
A lot has been made of the recent travails of His Royal Highness, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

While there has been a lot of sympathetic voices, and condemnation of the actions of the political powers of Kano State, there have been others who see his travails as Karma, payback time.

Well, I think we should not lose sight of the implication of what can be rightly called a destructive malady.

When Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was installed as the Emir of Kano, a very close friend of mine lamented bitterly about the cause of direction His Highness was taking, which to me was his to take anyway.

According to my friend, “Sanusi is locking himself up in a corner. Kano is too small for him. He is needed on the national and international stage”.

Being Emir, I guess he must have come face to face with the harsh socio-economic realities of his people not just in his emirate but in the larger North. After all they are his kinsmen and women.

So, he decided to be their voice. Speaking during KADINVEST 2.0, in April 2017, an event organized by the Kaduna State Government to encourage investments, the Emir said what exists in Northern Nigeria is “a complete failure of social policy …we are fighting culture, we are fighting civilization… for us to address social policy, we have to reclaim our religion…” (Premium Times).

A few days later he also criticized the governor of Zamfara State for his statement that the deadly Meningitis outbreak in his State was a punishment from God.

According to Emir Sanusi, “we are stuck with political leaders who only pretend to be Godsend because sycophants always refer to people in high political office as ‘Godsend’.

Paradoxically, despite being ruled by all these ‘Godsends’ we have spectacularly failed to progress as a nation…Muslim countries are holding their own in the modern world proving that Islam is not a religion of underdevelopment, however the likes of Zamfara State Governor only strengthen this prejudice.. It’s no secret that many of our political leaders are inept and not well educated…”

At last, a voice for the poor and defenceless. So I thought.

Emir Sanusi’s jabs were sharp, forceful and deep. It stunned a class of religious and political elites who saw these criticisms as coming from one of their own and have since been furious.

A class of elites and rulers who are averse to criticism. Ruthless, unforgiving, they would crush dissenting voices especially the ones that tell the truth to their face, even if it meant dismantling age long traditional structures. They must silence that voice. Rubbing their hands with glee, they drew blood.

So what did they do? Create four additional emirates. According to reports it took just 4 hours of deliberation by the Kano state House of Assembly to seal, sign and deliver the creation of four additional emirates whittling down the size of a centuries old structure. To get at one man! This is akin to cutting the nose to despise the face.

This is the misfortune of our society. Leaders who are so myopic and small minded they have no business governing us! Imagine, how can you reduce the grandeur, the power and the influence of Kano Emirate that stand so tall in the SAHEL, just to get at one man?

You could have as well deposed the Emir and maintain this great institution. This is the folly of a society when its leaders disdain virtue. Kano does not deserve this.

According to Governor Ganduje, the creation of the emirates “…will lead to more concentration on our health, education and other equally important sectors of the society”. This is ludicrous. Does he really understand what he said?

This has nothing to do with whatever. It is a vendetta. Period. Not just against His Royal Highness, but against the poor, marginalized, downtrodden people who Sanusi Lamido Sanusi sought to be their voice, whose voice they want to drown so as to keep the people in perpetual ignorance and powerlessness.

Mr. Governor Sir, the cost of creating and running four new emirates should be used to remove at least some kids off the streets of Kano by giving them qualitative education. That would be more productive for the State in the long term than the burden of more emirates.

Faith Berewa, a columnist with Sahel Standard Newspapers sent this from Kaduna

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