Emir Sanusi and the northern cabal

Do you accept that the kingmakers in Kano after repetitive syncopated bursts of energy recommended the sack of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Emir of Kano? Emir Sanusi was sacked by the northern cabal by a fit of pique; Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje only carried out the wishes of the cabal after due consultations.

The Colditz-style precision of the sack gives room for concern. The Emir was treated as a forsaken owlet, pursued out of Kano as a common herd, but for what end? Traditional rulers in the North these days must engage in guarded standoffishness even when the North is a boiling cauldron. It seems that the puritanical burrow of the northern cabal furrowed only because Emir Sanusi committed class suicide and touched on issues which the cabal expected him not to talk about. I have heard it said that people who benefit from inequality resist change and that dignity comes from servitude for certain people.

The issues the former Emir touched on are legion: he cautioned the North to move away from medieval traditions and embrace global pluralism, to strengthen cultural consciousness, human rights, and the appreciation of worldwide interdependence, increase national perspective and awareness away from the narrow and pedestrian historical perspectives about Nigeria.

Sanusi bursting at the seams with developmental ideas told northern leaders to be responsible to the northern people, build social action skills, respect human dignity, and combat discrimination against the girl-child. He told the oligarchs that Saudi Arabia is changing some of its dogmas due to avant-gardism and that the North should move with the times to give girls proper education. On many occasions he said that Iran, the only theocratic country in the world, takes the education of the girl-child seriously and why shouldn’t northern Nigeria copy the model of Iran?

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Should this man have been hung out in the open to dry for speaking truth to power for the growth of the North and people? Development experts are not diplomats. They work with analytics, data and facts and speak truth to power. And the facts of the matter according to Sanusi are that the North is mature enough to free itself from the apron springs of Saudi Arabia and Iran and to carve its own religious niche. He advised the North to refine sharia, demolish mosques instead of building many and build schools.

Here is a man bold enough to say that Arabic education wouldn’t achieve any developmental purpose for the North but that modern education and multicultural education would take the North to heights unparalleled.

I see him as one of the very few northern technocrats that mean well for the development of the North in words and indeed. What Sanusi tried to do for the North is for northern leaders to make northern people stay on track, scrap the almajiri that has become an international embarrassment, move away from the celebration of poverty.

Who would take Sanusi’s place? Who will speak for the North and guide the North? The northern cabal prefers a traditional ruler who would suffer from elective mutism without the courage of a tiger and the doggedness of a terrier. The North without the type of Sanusi and his ilk may be a place with no education, no hope, and no money, unfortunately.

Simon Abah,


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