Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says Muhammadu Sanusi, a former Emir of Kano, “melds” the traditional and modern ways with ease.
Speaking at a colloquium organised in honour of the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, el-Rufai described Sanusi as “reform-minded” and a central banker of global repute.
The colloquium, which is the first of its kind, was held at the Yar’Adua hall in Kaduna, to mark the ex-emir’s 60th birthday.
The governor said the former top banker has thoughts for a progressive Nigeria, adding he is a forthright friend anyone could have.
“I met this brainy young man as a fellow undergraduate at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was quite self-assured, outspoken in his views and clear about his aspirations. He exuded a modern and progressive charm, with a clarity of mind that manifested in the erudition with which he expressed himself,” el-Rufai said.
“Those attributes have remained with him through the decades. He is bold in thought and action. He has come to be recognised as one of the very best that this country has produced.
“I admire the ease with which he melds the traditional and the modern, his veneration for the life of the mind, his cultivation of knowledge, his dedication to logic and reason and his proven ability to execute the decisions which the facts compel.
“His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II has stood out as an academic, banker and risk manager per excellence by the time he was in his 40s. He then moved on to become a central banker of global repute, a reform-minded emir and Islamic scholar. As a public intellectual, he has set out clear thoughts for a progressive Nigeria, a vision of rational economic choices and enlightened public leadership.
“He is a man of gravitas and the most forthright friend anyone can have.”
On her part, Hadiza Balarabe, deputy governor of Kaduna, noted that the former emir has associated himself with el-Rufai’s efforts to reform Kaduna.
“His Highness has been a most eloquent ambassador for these progressive possibilities,” she said.
“He has not only thought deeply about them, he has provided distinguished service in various roles. In him, we have a man that is as outstanding in thought as he is in action.
“As Emir of Kano, he attended many of our events, from our investment summits to the durbar we put together to celebrate the centenary of Kaduna city.”