There are some life experiences that stick in the mind, not because they can not be forgotten, but because of the enduring impact they make in ones adult life.
While growing in my little village, a small community where everyone knows one another. We were taught to fear, respect and speak the truth to people in authority.
The first group are the Emirs, the village heads, community leaders and Imams. They were feared, revered and respected. Their words represent the collective wisdom of the community. They were known to be hard talking, brutally frank and not selfish.
These group of leaders double as the Imams and Judges. They settle community disputes and say it like it is. You don’t involve them in matters of public interest and expect them to be frivolous. We grew up looking up to them for guidance and wisdom that is why they are respected and revered.
Secondly, early in my career in the Civil Service I was taught about Processes, Rules and Regulations by our seniors. They mentors us in order to bring the best out us to be a good public officer. They represent everything but dishonesty. They were feared because they were incorruptible and fearless. This gave them leverage not to be afraid to speak the truth once Rules and Regulations are not followed.
I remember the likes of Gujubawu, Sabo Potiskum, Adamu Fika, Mohammed Umar the Joda’s and many more who could stand up to those in higher authority and tell them the truth once Procedures, Rules and Regulations in the conduct of public affairs were broken or on its way to be floated.
They were Ministers, Secretary to the Governments, Head of Service, Permanent Secretaries, Commissioners, Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals of those days. How many of their types are there in the system today? This is the background from where I am coming.
Today the society has become morally decadent, dishonest and corrupt, both in conduct and actions. The fear of speaking the truth has eroded our morale campus. It has reached the level of anomie. It has become our draw back as a society and a nation.
if you speak the truth you are labelled as uncounched, undiplomatic or disrespectful, impatient, young or too much in a hurry, enemy of the state number one, you must be dealt with, this is the fallacy of our time.
Counters views and opinions are not welcomed. No serious person now offer advice on some observed disconnect going on in the society. Men of integrity no longer want to occupy public office or partake in politics. The whole system is now only good for the bad, ugly, boot leakers, kleptomaniacs and praise singers.
His Royal Highness Sunusi Lamido Sunusi II became a victim of this social and political milieu, He is among the few remaining standing, who have refused to be cajoled and gagged in to adopting the culture of silence “sit down and look”.
Might be he does not understand this, but with his level of exposure, sophistication, and education, I doubt it if my assumption could be true. He is just one person who likes telling the truth by calling a spade a spade.
HRH does not just give talk for the sake of just talking. He is an accomplished person, who excelled in his chosen career. He was the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He is current Emir of Kano, all these roles carry with them the responsibilities to speak the truth and intelligently.
He knows why people invite him to give talks and what they expect to hear from him at seminars and during occasions. They do so because they want to hear the truth and the truth is what they would get from him.
I have never met HRH in real life, but I try to read his mind. Why would he in spite all his life experiences, from his questionable removable as CBN governor, the first attempt by Ganduje and his cohorts to remove him from office, the historical deposition of his grandfather as the emir Kano, still continue to speak the truth and confront the power that is, knowing fully well truth is what they don’t want to hear.
HRH also knows his ascension to the exalted throne of the Emir of Kano, seems distant and “an uphill task”, if one knows the history of Kano and yet God made it easy for him.
As someone who is religiously grounded in Islamic knowledge and Sharia. An intellectual who has transverse the globe giving talks, he can not afford to be frivolous while presenting papers to his audience. People look up to him for quality presentation. His background doesn’t give him the excuse of presenting watery paper, just because he is afraid of annoying the “powers that be”
Ganduje who is a wounded lion, caught on tape collecting bribe doesn’t have the moral capacity to stand up to HRH’s influence in Kano if not for the opportunity of political authority.
A thief who was caught on tape collecting kick backs has no moral justification to do what he is doing. In a civilized society would have been in the gulag continuing with his sleep disorder, but for the lacuna in the constitution that gave immunity of arrest to the holders of the Executive branch.
What is then the grouse of Ganduje against HRH? The answer to these are multi dimensional. The first being the scathing judgement HRH passed on the $1.8 billion loan package for the laying of light rail in Kano, Ganduje, was trying to secure from China EXIM Bank. Only God knows how many more Dollars he would added to his kitty in the light of his in satiable greed for the green bucks.
HRH in a speech at the Kaduna investment summit tongue-lashed the idea behind the reason for the loan. He said, “At the end of the day, what do you benefit from it? (Meaning the loan) when your citizen will ride on a train and when you ride on a train, in northern Nigeria, in a state like Kano or Katsina, where are you going to? You are not going to an industrial estate to work. You are not going to school? You are not going to the farm. You borrow money from China to invest in trains so that your citizens can ride on them and go for weddings and naming ceremonies,”
Ganduje did not forgive HRH for truncating the mega proceeds accruing from the rail project. To take his pounds of flesh,he ordered the Kano Public Complaints Anticorruption Commission to go after the emirate council’s finances, it was clear to all, that the governor had risen to axe Mr Sanusi.
While the probe was on, the government ordered its halt citing intervention by prominent Nigerians and reconciliation between the governor and the emir.
Secondly, HRH was said to have passed some harsh verdict on Mr Buhari’s economic policies as it relates to foreign exchange, alleging at one point that the government was breeding corruption.
Thirdly, what broke the camels back was what HRH, said in the build-up to the 2019 polls, in what many interpreted as an indirect de-campaigning of Mr Buhari, the emir charged electorates to go after competent candidates, arguing that those who have only integrity as their selling point should not be trusted with public office.
The assumption is that if leader runs on integrity alone, that integrity only benefits the leader and serves only him alone. But if you chose a leader with capacity he would able to deliver. And the benefit permeates throughout the society.
Ganduje who was enmeshed in his own corruption saga, and preparing for his second term bid saw a window to hit at HRH in order to increase his chances and divert attention from the petition before the tribunal bordering on issues arising from the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kano.
He also used the opportunity to rebuild his lost image with the Presidency, by showing as if he is fighting the fight for the President “brilliant” you would say!
To understand the context of what is going on in Kano, one needs to ask the What, Who, When, Where, Why and How. Before accusing HRH of choosing the wrong channel to speak.
The what and who in the matter are so clear, we therefore do not have to labour ourselves trying to explain.
The when and the where refers to the time and place the statements were made.
In the case of the Chinese Loan, HRH made those observation at the Kaduna investment summit. From the theme of the summit what HRH said was in tandem with goals and objective of the summit.
The second statement occurred in the build-up to the 2019 polls, when Mr Sanusi addressed a sermon in what many interpreted as an indirect de-campaigning of Mr Buhari and Ganduje, the emir charged electorates to go after competent candidates, arguing that those who have only integrity as their selling point should not be trusted with public office.
Every Muslim knows speaking from the pulpit on Friday is a practice of the Messenger of Allah swt when he decides to address his people on issues of concern to society.
Here again what HRH did was in tandem with sunnah of the prophet (SA). This tradition is still kept by the Imams and they speak fearlessly.
The next issue is the why and how? HRH, an astute administrator and a leader knows when and how to speak to his community for effective empathy.
The How is the method and the vehicle to pass on those messages.
Human communication over time has undergone great transformation, from the gong, the bush fire, drawings on stones, the advent of paper, radio, television, internet and social media.
The old method of communication from “one to many” is know being challenged by from “one to one”. Nothing under the Sun can now be hidden like before. That is why governments all over world are trying to whittle the power of the social media.
To assume that HRH was wrong in speaking to the “power that be” by using a wrong channels is just like deliberately refusing to accept the realities of our times. This is given the fact that governments now does not listen to honest advice. They treat those who give them with suspicions, and disdain, even if those advices were given in secret.
Leakages and deliberate manipulations of such advices has forced many including the whistle blowers, shying away from engaging with authorities.
Those faulting HRH for speaking at seminars, on the pulpit during Friday sermons are just doing so out of mischief. They are boot leakers, the praise singers the job seekers, the bad and the ugly, this society can do without.
This country does not need the Paul Kigame, the Ruwandan President, to tell us the truth. We have men and women of good conscience who have been doing that, but were not appreciated.
What Kigame said at the Democracy Day lecture was not different from what the Sunusi, El Rufai, Soyinka, Obasanjo, Naja’atu, Danjumma were telling us.
How many of them could have said what Kigame told us, without being accused of one thing or the other. They would have been called with some un printable names, branded as anti establishment. The whole matter would have been reduced to partisanship, religion, the north vs the south, and yet the cream of the society, that were there applauded the scathing rebuke we were subjected to.
When I wrote in my previous article “the culture of silence” many felt it was a joke. The truth is gradually emerging.
They can succeed in removing HRH from office and whittle his influence by breaking the Emirate into pieces. They can also force us to look the other way. But what they can not succeed in doing is to break the resolve of his HRH from speaking the truth.
It may be Sunusi today, tomorrow it could be the Caliphate, the Elkanemi, the Zazzau, the Lamido, the Nupe, the Tor Tivs, these are remaining institutions that represent the Northern Hegemony.
We must not allow “them” to destroy our remaining cultural legacies as a people.
I call on all northern leaders, people of good conscience, and our friends in other part of the country who can prevail on Ganduje to talk him out of this diabolical, madness and game plan that serves no one. It would only end in dividing rather then uniting us.
We must not simply keep quite because we are not involved or afraid of losing our positions.
I am not against the rule of law, but where things are done to settle personal scores, people of good conscience must act to subvert impunity.
More especially, when the person in the vanguard for the enforcement of the rule of law has his hand soiled in the muddy waters.
To Ganduje I want him ponder on this. You may succeed in removing Sunusi from office but you can not change his history.
Look around you, kwankwaso, whom you rode on his back to become what you are today, spent eight years in the same office as governor you are arrogantly holding to. You were there as his deputy remember?
Today he is no body compared to you only because of the advantage of instrumentality of power, which gives you access.
Four years is not a long period in human life, it will come to pass. And you will discover you are nobody. The money you stole can not buy you respect.
You can never be Sunusi even if you depose him as the Emir. You can not remove the royal blue blood in him. He will always be referred to as a prince, even if depose him as Emir. Don’t forget you are a no body and will remain so.
The power you are holding to is transient, the moment it eludes you, when you turn round there will be no body behind you, those that are misleading you, will speedily desert you as they came. A word is enough for the wise.
To HRH we urge you to continue speaking the truth, continue believing in Allah swt. if what the conspiracy theorist are planning is your destiny no one in this world can stop or change it for you. You know this perhaps better than I do? Let me end this discourse by borrowing from the American slang “ what is going to be is going to be”
In God we trust, “cry not Your Royal Highness.