I had just one fear regarding Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s suitability for the Kano Emirship when I was supporting his candidature for the exalted seat and that fear has been justified. He simply cannot transit from a suit and tie ‘do good’ advocate to the royal father of one of Nigeria’s most historic states. Certain extraordinarily high standards are expected of such men. They are not to be seen criticizing other leaders in public before at the very least, a botched attempt at advising them in private. If at all they must speak on governance, they are expected to urge the government to explore more productive policies instead of criticizing existing ones. Their status, in a few words, can best be captured in this hyperbolic statement- “Other mortals may bleed red but royals bleed blue”.
He has attacked the Buhari government at every opportunity, delved into sensitive religious issues and sent his daughter to represent him at a public function. He not only had her do that, he sang her praises in a video message introducing her for once slapping a boy that had disrespected her. That was just about how much anyone could stomach and when the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission decided to probe alleged misappropriation of funds by the Emir. Many lauded the state government for acting in line with good conscience. It didn’t matter what he was being accused of, what mattered was someone somewhere recognized the fact that the sanctity of the throne was being violated and that there was a need to act fast.
No one batted an eyelid when the State house of assembly took over the probe of Sanusi as the common perception was that it was in a better position to look into the non-financial aspect of the investigation which happen to form the reason for his travails. In addition to embezzlement of funds, he was being accused of tarnishing the image of the Emirate by having his daughter represent him at a public function and repeatedly attacking President Buhari in a manner unbecoming of the custodian of his seat.
To my utter dismay, the house in a session on Monday, suspended the probe of the Emir based on a letter written it by the Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, requesting that the probe be halted in the best interest of peace as some prominent Nigerians had interceded on Sanusi’s behalf. Particularly shocking was the shamelessness involved in the disgusting acts of both the governor and the house. The Sanusi inquiry was going to stop not because he had been cleared or had publicly apologized to his people but because he had some very influential friends and no one even bothered to keep that secret.
Their names were reeled out.Whose interest would peace suit most if he stayed on as Emir,the people of Kano who stood a high chance of being incited by their Emir’s false claim that the Governor and members of the house spent one month in China wasting taxpayers money or by his disrespect for the Emirate by having his daughter represent him at a function instead of any ranking official? The City’s high reverence for culture is legendary and as it is, the Governor is lucky to have had no revolt against the ‘unEmirly’ Emir. A lot of people still feel it would have been better for Sanusi to urge his fellow Muslims to delve into polygamy only when they can cope with its rigours than to outrightly suggest the government makes laws determining who should and should not marry more than one wife.
Religion is quite a sensitive issue down north and an emir neglecting caution in that regard is a recipe for disaster.
I am highly disappointed in the Kano state governor for willing to discard Sanusi’s probe just because some influential people begged him to. What he has made categorically clear is that the wishes of Ag.President Osinbajo, Abdulsalami Abubakar, IBB and Aliko Dangote and a few others, override the best interests of his people. It doesn’t matter whether anyone has embezzled funds or whether the throne is being dragged to disrepute, as long as they have powerful friends, it will all go away. Sad.
Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano