Who Is After Sanusi? •The Emir Comes Under Fire •Friends, Associates Desert Him

By on May 12, 2017


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No doubt, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is a child of circumstance; thus Nigerians should expect nothing but unprecedented happenings.
The Kano State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, set up an eight-man committee to investigate the allegations levelled against the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, bordering on his purported misconduct and alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to the Kano Emirate Council.
The Speaker of the State Assembly, Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, who presided over plenary, constituted the panel following a point of order raised by the member representing Nasarawa constituency, Ibrahim Ahmad Gama.
The lawmaker alleged that Sanusi had spread false information on the trip of the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to China recently to hold discussions on a light rail project in the state.
Gama also insisted that the statement attributed to the emir was capable of tarnishing the governor’s image, the state government and that of the assembly.
“The emir during his speech in Kaduna, alleged that the Kano State governor and his entourage, including me as the Chairman of the House Committee on Works, wasted one month in China seeking for a loan to construct the light rail project.
“The emir’s statement was not true, we spent only four days in China, and our visit was to find out the capacity of the company to handle the rail project.
“His allegation has brought a lot of insults to my person, the state government and the House of Assembly by the general public in and outside the state,” he said.
He also took a swipe at the Emir of Kano for sending his daughter to represent him at a function organised by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group in Abuja, describing it as inimical to the tradition of the Emirate Council.
“There are many responsible Emirate Council members who could have represented him at the programme. This is the first time we are seeing such in the history of the traditional home,” he added.
According to Gama, the mode of dressing by the Emir’s daughter during the programme also caused embarrassment to the Emirate Council and the tradition of Kano people, because she failed to wear the “full traditional regalia”.
He also accused Sanusi of introducing religious views that are contrary to the teachings of Islam, saying such things were capable of undermining the religion.
Gama further accused Emir Sanusi of getting involved in political issues, the misappropriation of the Emirate Council’s funds and making statements against President Muhammadu Buhari.
After making his case, the Kano Assembly set up a committee to investigate the allegations. The committee was given two weeks to report back to the assembly.
The eight-member committee will be headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Alhaji Labaran Abdul.
As laughable as this development is, some part of the allegations against Sanusi are true.
The Emir has been in the news, probably, for unbelievable reasons too, he was very critical of the ruling APC’s handling of the economy.
Surprising, because, Sanusi could be described as one of the behind the scene stalwarts of the party.
He, gallantly, fought against former president Goodluck Jonathan, in a manner many deemed out of turn for a serving public servant, especially, for one holding the sensitive position of the governor of the Central Bank.
In the thick of the gang-up against the Jonathan administration, Sanusi was the toast of both Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the then Governor of Lagos State, now Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
And, in the wee hours of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, he was, probably, the first to usher in a group of businessmen from the united States to discuss ways of bringing direct foreign investment into the country, alongside, billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote.
But, whatever made the Emir to turn around and criticize his then associates remain a mystery till today. 
Sanusi was the first to raise the alarm that the Buhari administration is over borrowing money.
He stated that among other producing countries in Africa, Nigeria has been on a borrowing bench, “Borrowing domestically to fund current expenditure.”
He added that the growth of Nigeria was driven largely by rising commodity prices and debt, and the module has reached the logical limit such as the collapse in oil price.
He made this known at the Kaduna State Investment Summit with the theme ‘Making Kaduna Investment Destination of Choice’.
According to him, the 2017 budget presented by the Federal Government is a budget that goes for more debt.
He noted that, “As a country, we must understand that the module of government borrowing and spending has reached its limit, therefore growth must only come from investment.”
Not done, Sanusi, warned that the northern part of the country is in serious economic trouble.
The North, as a region, has the highest population in Nigeria and lacked the necessary indices to show progress. 
“We are living in denial. The North-West and the North-East, demographically, constitute the bulk of Nigeria’s population, but look at human development indices, look at the number of children out of school, look at adult literacy, look at maternal mortality, look at infant mortality, look at girl-child completion rate, look at income per capita, the North-East and the North-West Nigeria, are among the poorest parts of the world.
“As far back as 2000, I looked at the numbers, Borno and Yobe states, UNDP figures: Borno and Yobe states, if they were a country on their own, were poorer than Niger, Cameroon and Chad. 
“Nobody saw this because we were looking at Nigeria as a country that averages the oil-rich Niger Delta, the industrial and commercial-rich Lagos, the commercially viable South-East, and you have an average. 
“Break Nigeria into its component parts, and these parts of the country are among the poorest, if it were a country. And we do not realise we are in trouble.” 
Sanusi continued, “Other Muslim nations have pushed forward girl-child education, they’ve pushed forward science and technology. They have pushed forward the arts. “We have this myth in northern Nigeria, where we try to create an Islamic society that never existed.” 
“We need to understand the roots of the problem of northern Nigeria. Burning books, it happened in Kano. What is the crime of those books? They were writing about (love), and love apparently is supposed to be a bad word. 
“In a society where you don’t love your women and you don’t love your children, you allow them to beg, you beat up your women, why should anyone talk about love? 
“We have adopted an interpretation of our culture and our religion that is rooted in the 13th century mindset that refuses to recognise that the rest of the Muslim world has moved on. 
“If you are an Imam or a pastor and shed blood you are a criminal,” Sanusi said. 
The monarch also frowned at Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State over his dismissal of the cause of meningitis that killed over 200 people from his state as a punishment from God for the people’s sin of fornication.
This outburst on the true picture of the north probably irritated some northern elite.
While some applauded the Emir’s courage, calling him a rare, frank leader, others alleged mischief, declaring him guilty of the same crime he accused northern leaders. 
First Executive Governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, said the Emir was right, pointing out that the former Central Bank Governor understands the nature of capitalism.
“Uneven development is a direct impact of capitalism and it is inevitable because capitalism controls development in this country. It is the same all over the world. You find some areas are developed; some other areas are not developed.
“If you want to bring about even development, you have to adopt a non-capitalist system of development. So, the Emir understands that, and I agree with him that this is the case, that capitalism is the type of system adopted in Nigeria and the leadership produced by the system. And the consequence of this is uneven development.
“Yes, I agree with the Emir of Kano that, if those states were to be nations, they cannot survive on their own. There are nations like that which depend largely on imperialist countries.”
Frontline northern statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, said, “the statement credited to the Emir of Kano, Malam Mohammad Sanusi 11, that the north is developmentally backward, has been an age-long agitation.”
Yakasai maintained that the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) has been in the forefront over the lack of human and infrastructural development in the region.
According to him, NEPU has been pioneering the clamour, dating back to 1951, that women in the north can vote and be voted for by acquiring the highest level of education.
“I am one of the premium progressive and active leaders of Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) that advocated the right of women to vote and be voted for by acquiring the highest level of education through Girl-child education for the development of the region.
“If you look at most of the nations, where Muslims constitute majority, like Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia and other Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, women have limitless opportunities to acquire education; therefore leaders in the northern part of the country, who feel that women should not be educated, are not speaking from the Islamic point of view.
“Women approximately constitute about 50 percent of Nigeria’s population, anybody who is thinking that that percentage of women population in the country should be left out is not only any enemy of progress in Nigeria but an enemy of progress as a whole, as well as the nation’s advancement.”
Yakasai noted that denying women their right to acquire modern education had actually contributed to the backwardness of the north.
“We have been advocating this position, long before the Emir of Kano was born, so the Emir is only backing our position, which we had decades ago.’’
Yakasai, who was a Special Adviser to ex-President Shehu Shagari in the Second Republic, also said, “another point, where I agreed with the position of the Emir is where he advocated that mosques should be used as schools to help in providing education for the people of Northern Nigeria.
“However, where I would like to adjust my position of the Emir in this regard, is that the mosque should be used to cater for primary school leavers, where they can acquire educational requirements for admission into tertiary institutions in the country.”
The veteran politician also appealed to all traditional rulers in northern Nigeria to dedicate a substantial portion of the percentage they are given in their allocation of local government revenue in their areas of authority for use to establish universities and other tertiary institutions for the advancement of education in northern Nigeria.
He said, if this could be done by the traditional rulers, the north would bridge the gap with their southern compatriots in a matter of between 10 and 15 years, adding that this is an obligation our traditional rulers should morally owe to their subjects.
However, a member of the Second Republic House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, frowned at the comments of the Emir of Kano, describing it as “bogus and mischievous in intent.” 
He felt that, “there is an evidence of over generalisation on the part of the Emir. Yes, he may have evidence of economic performance or non-performance but I think the real intent of the comment was mischief because he has not identified the northern leaders he accused.
“For me, if leaders of the north are to be blamed for the region’s backwardness, the Emir of Kano is obviously one of the leaders to be blamed. As one of the privileged few to emerge the managing director of one of the biggest banks in the country, later the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and now the Emir of Kano, if northern elites are to be accused of failing the common people in the region, Mallam Sanusi is clearly guilty also. I think the underdevelopment he is talking about was as a result of capitalism, and as the Central Bank Governor, it is obvious he is guilty.
“My position is that the northern elites are not different from the elites of other regions in Nigeria. Take the case of the Niger Delta for example. I think the solution to Nigerian problem is for the elite to reach a consensus to work for the interest of common Nigerians. I don’t believe northern elites are different from other elites in Nigeria. So, I can assure you that the conduct of the elites of northern Nigeria towards their people is not different from the conduct of the elites of other regions in Nigeria towards their people.
“So, I think the accusation the Emir levelled against northern elites could also be levelled against elites of other sections of the country. That is why I think the idea of singling out the northern elite for this allegation is bogus and mischievous in intent. I also think that those who think they have all the answers to Nigerian problems and those who are desirous of political power should resign their present positions to contest for elective positions, both to test their popularity and to prove how successful they can be.”
Also, the spokesman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abadullahi, faulted the Emir, declaring that “he is a very young man that should go and read the history of Nigeria” before making certain statements about the country.
Unperturbed, Sanusi cried out that the northern elite are trying to silence him.Sanusi said this while delivering his speech at the Inaugural Annual Chibok Girls Lecture held in commemoration of the third anniversary of the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok Government Girls Secondary School by terrorists in Borno State.
The monarch, who was represented by his daughter, Shahida Sanusi, said he deliberately stayed away from the event because of the sharp criticisms he had received from northern leaders following his statement wherein he criticised them for being responsible for many of the North’s social maladies.
The Emir noted that his daughter was the first female to ever represent him at an event.
Sanusi said rather than address the important issues, ‘anti-intellectual’ persons were trying to silence him.
Trouble started no sooner after when it was widely circulated that the emir was allegedly involved in misappropriating over N4billion.
A senior Councillor at the Emirate, Alhaji Bashir Wali, told journalists that Sanusi inherited N1.9 billion when emerged as emir in 2014.
Wali, who is the custodian of the Emirate Council’s treasury, said: “The sum of N1,893,378,927.38k was the exact amount inherited by Muhammadu Sanusi II, against the alleged claim of N4 billion.”
On whether the emir was involved in unnecessary trips to embezzle the council’s money, Wali said: “The council chattered a plane only twice for his highness for the following trips in September 2014 to Sokoto when the emir paid a traditional homage to the Sultan of Sokoto after he was made the Emir of Kano, and the council spent N4,651,000.”
He further explained that “in January 2015, they travelled to Benin for his installation as the Chancellor of the University of Benin, and it cost the Emirate Council N9,071,000.”
Wali added: “All the trips were made as a result of lack of schedule flights at that time to make this important and historical trips and it cost the council the sum of N13,722,000 as against the alleged N9,071,000.”
On the allegation of purchase of luxurious bulletproof vehicles, he explained that “the two bulletproof vehicles were surely purchased based on the advice and approval of the state government vide SSG’s letter No SSG/S/D/A/36/TI/109 of September 17, 2014.”
He emphasised that “this was as a result of an attack on the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, on his way back from the Murtala Muhammad Mosque to the palace. All the trips were at the total sum of N142,800,000.”
Also, the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission said it received some petitions against the Emirate Council on an alleged reckless spending under the nose of the emir.
When the threat of probe refused to go away, the Kano emirate expressed its readiness for a probe into its expenditure being planned by the state Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Agency. 
The agency summoned the secretary and treasurer to the council to report to the agency’s headquarters on May 2, 2017 to explain the alleged financial recklessness and perhaps, justify the legal framework under which the expenditure was made.
Then, the State House of Assembly came up with its own probe. 
Political pundits are of the opinion that there is more to these probes than meet the eye, if the Emir could escape being penalized for his often outrageous utterances as governor of the CBN, why has he suddenly become an object of suspicion under an administration he helped into power.
Aside, possibly, the irritated northern elite, there is the theory of an attempt to check the Emir by some powerful interests within and outside the ruling APC.
While, what the ongoing gamesmanship portends could be anyone’s guess, his daughter’s statement that, her father will gladly let go of the throne if it stands in the way of the truth, is of great comfort.

Source cattnews

Posted 12/05/2017 12:05:41 AM




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