Here comes the ‘controversial’ emir…

Here comes the ‘controversial’ emir…
June 08
18:16 2014

Even before he was appointed the 14th Fulani emir of Kano on Sunday, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) courted controversy by constantly affirming his ambition to ascend his forefathers’ throne.

Asked several times if it was true that he had a presidential ambition, Sanusi always replied that he would rather be emir of Kano than president of Nigeria.

After being conferred with the title, Dan Majen Kano, in 2012 by Alhaji Ado Bayero, people insinuated that he was being prepared for Aso Rock, but he consistently denied it.

SLS said: “When you come from my family and accept a title you cannot openly be in partisan politics. It is an unwritten law. Mistakes were made in the first republic but since then avoided. The institution belongs to all Kano people and joining one party alienates supporters of another.

“One has to choose between political ambitions at federal or state level and the love and unity of Kano people. I made my choice long ago and everyone knows it but it won’t stop the fabricators from doing what they are good at.

“I repeat that I am not in partisan politics, I have no desire to contest for elective office and the story is false as far as I know.”


Then another controversy. By saying he wanted to be emir, even when there was a sitting one in Bayero, was he not being disrespectful to his father-in-law?

His response: “In our own part of the world, the emir takes it for granted that every prince wants to be an emir and in fact, it would be a sad day if a prince, when asked his ambition in life, ranked another office higher than the throne of his ancestors.”

Sanusi is Mr. Controversy. Has anyone forgotten that he was made Dan Maje after the Dana crash of June 2012? Several CBN top executives died in the crash and many Nigerians voiced their disappointment that the ceremony still went ahead a few days after.

If only they knew Sanusi’s cousin also died in the crash…

Does anyone still remember how he arrived his office in Abuja after his Dan Maje “coronation”, fully dressed in the traditional outfit of a Kano prince (pictured)? It was an “eyesore” to his critics who said it was the final evidence that he was an Islamic fundamentalist.

Don’t blame the critics, his sympathisers said; after all, they are only used to seeing a Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu or Rev. Jolly Nyame wear their cassocks to office as governors – but a Muslim going to office in a prince regalia must be uncomfortable to live with.


Yet more controversies: he donated N100 million to Boko Haram victims in Kano after a particular orgy of attacks that left hundreds dead. Some said Sanusi was only trying to “buy” Kano people ahead of his future ambition of being their emir.

But Sanusi also donated to University of Benin and the Madalla bomb victims. Well, that was an “afterthought” (Madalla) and an attempt to say thank you for an honorary doctorate degrees awarded to him (Uniben), his critics said.

And why did he not donate to victims in Abuja, Yobe, Maiduguri, Suleja, Kaduna and so on? And why was he donating the funds of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) like a Father Christmas on the rampage? His critics had many questions for him, some of which he never answered.

By the way, his controversies as CBN governor from 2009 to 2014 are enough to fill a medium-size library…

As a public commentator, he was always in the line of fire and never hesitated to jump into the fray. As emir of Kano, will he continue being controversial? Or will the weight of the traditional institution temper him?


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