How real is Sanusi, the CBN Governor’?

 CBN Governor Sanusi Comments on North-South Dichotomy 

Sanusi Lamiso SanusiThe statement of Lamido Sanusi that “anybody that is still preaching that the problem of Nigeria is Yoruba or Hausa or Fulani, does not love Nigeria” has riled some Nigerians on many listserves. The Governor of the Central Bank, Nigeria proclaimed that the problem with Nigeria is not the structure of the Federation, but that “a group of people from each and every ethnic tribe is very selfish”

But some Nigerians, especially from the South are not amused. “Talk is cheap”! Thundered Collins Ezebuihe: “Like Chief Emeka Ojukwu, this Sanusi guy appears to know how to tap into the sentiments of Nigerians. That’s all there is to his speech, and nothing more. He may indeed be part of the Brigade seeking to keep the status quo in Nigeria”! He added.

 Asking, ‘Just how real is Sanusi of the CBN’? Ezebuihe answered that while some of Sanusi’s “preacher’s sermon” is welcome, “the Man may have also been on guilty trip, to find partners in crime committed mainly by people from his neck of the woods”.

What did Sanusi actually say?

The Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was at the Muson Centre, Lagos for the launching of the book by Sir Olaniwun Ajayi titled: “Nigeria, Africa’s failed asset?

The launching attracted many important dignitaries, intellectuals and some governors. The argument by discussants centred on whether or not the colonial masters laid the foundation for the problems Nigeria is currently facing. Many argued that the British loved the North and that was why it gave more than 50 percent of the National Assembly seats to the North at independence. 

They argued that this lop-sided nature of the “Federation” is at the root of the problem with Nigeria. But Sanusi’s speech was anchored on the plank that the British and Nigerian rulers are responsible for the state of the situation Nigeria finds itself today, and not the Hausa-Fulani.

Sanusi started by saying that “I am Fulani… My grandfather was an Emir and therefore I represent all that has been talked about this afternoon…My grandfather was a Northerner, I am a Nigerian. The problem with this country is that in 2009, we speak in the language of 1953”.

“There are so many myths that are being bandied around”, Sanusi said and then argued that before colonialism, there was nothing like Northern Nigeria, but just like the Sokoto Caliphate used the Sokoto Jihad to unite the previously warring entire North and brought every person from Adamawa to Sokoto and said it is one kingdom which many now call ‘the Muslim North’, so did the Colonialists came, put that together and said it is now called the Northern Nigeria.

He then said that “Our grand fathers were able to transform from being separate warring tribes to being Northerners”, so if we have not been able to transform to being Nigerians, “the fault is ours”.

Beautiful argument, you might say, After all who would fault his argument that the South West has not produced a Yoruba governor after Awolowo that are role models of leadership; Nor have the East produced another Nnamdi Azikiwe that can be role models of leadership; same with the governors in the Niger Delta, “There is no evidence statistically that any part of this country has produced good leaders”.

But my question is: whose fault is it that good leaders have not been allowed to emerge where the Northern-military oligarchy has held the nation in bondage for the past 45 years? 

Why are some deathly afraid of the possibility of their federal allocation drying up under a new, effective federal dispensation?

It is no secret that the North had used their religious homogeneity, domination of the military hierarchy and farcical numerical superiority in the civilian era; policy of divide and rule and the cooption of greedy southerners to trample on the efforts of the republican south to choose true leaders.

To Sanusi’s argument that the people in charge of the economy during Babangida era were Olu Falae, Kalu Idika Kalu and other Southerners, Ezebuihe replied that “throughout his speech, there was no mention of the killing fields of Northern Nigeria. Those are heinous acts committed by Northern Muslims against people of Christian faith. That is one of the single biggest threats to Nigeria’s future as one nation. Those heinous acts did not receive any tacit approval from Idika Kalu or Olu Falae, who he accuses of being co-Captains along with IBB on the same Nigerian Ship of State that nearly ran aground”. 

Sanusi should have done well by addressing an issue like that”, he continued, “yet he never did, nor has he ever seriously decried that very deadly and destabilizing issue – just like he said he did about June 12th. I don’t also recall him asking dysfunctional Umaru Yar’Adua to step aside for Good luck Jonathan, so as to give Nigeria a fresh chance for a real Democracy”

Let’s hear Collins Ezebuihe out:
“Sanusi, apart from being a major benefactor of the massive rigging by Obasanjo and Iwu in 2007 which made Yar’Adua President, is the same guy that brought us a list of Billionaire debtors unwilling to repay loans made out to them by Banks. That list has now been proven to be quite jaundiced in the sense that some well-connected names were not even on it. The amount that Mister Sanusi Lamido Sanusi claims that is owed Nigerian Citizens – 349 Billion Naira is also far below the real amount.

At least we now know that at least 16 Billion Naira should be added to that list. That’s the same amount recently reported by the DAILY INDEPENDENT to be owed by a certain Abdurrahman Basir known to be well-connected to the Yar’adua’s.

“You may recall that this 16 Billion Naira came into light when Basir did something very stupid; he wrote a 12.8 Billion Naira Check that bounced! It was indeed a bounce heard around the world. 
“Sanusi can hardly claim not to have previously known about Basir’s debt. Yet he gave us a list that didn’t even have Basir’s name on it. So Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is a partaker in feeding Nigerians false information. If that omission is not a case of malfeasance he’s at least guilty of dereliction of duty as CBN Chief. 

Even if he deferred to Yar’Adua in shielding Basir’s name in non-Military democratic governance, that can also easily be why famed Economic leaders like Idika Kalu and Olu falae could not stop IBB from completing his cycle of incompetence largely responsible for ditching Nigeria almost to the Ocean floor. Keep in mind that Falae and Kalu were operating under a military regime and a time Both NATO and Warsaw Pact nations coveted Nigeria as a beautiful bride, while the case is different for Mister Sanusi, who is yet to render his regrets and apologies for this Basir-saga.

“The same Sanusi continues ceaselessly to hound Mrs. Celia Ibru, while Basir remains untouchable. To be a true Democrat, one must be even-handed, and anything short of that is hogwash –like Sanusi is doing!
“On October 1, 2009, I was opportune to be among “Spectator” Nigerians at the Brookings Institution watching a bunch of overfed Nigerians who go by the name, CHANGE NIGERIA PROJECT (CNP). They put on quite a show. One of the Speakers was Mister Ribadu –formerly of EFCC. He made a compelling case about corruption and orderliness in Nigeria. But he was also a dreamer in the sense that he vehemently rejected the growing idea of splitting Nigeria into several nations –perhaps as many as 6 nations– and all of those Independent States still larger and populated than most European nations.

“People are simply yearning for the chance to control their destiny. So, that quest is exactly what it is and should not be misconstrued to be ill-advised, or ruled sedition –given that Nigeria was ill-advised in the first place, just like old India was ill-advised, until its various peoples found out and parted ways.

“Ever since the nations of old India have now focused their attention on development, as opposed to dissipating their energies “aiming” for elusive unity like Nigeria does.
“Mister Ribadu was of the opinion that 49 years of Independence was too long a time to think of splitting Nigeria. He talked as if the old Soviet Union did not last as long before going belly up; or that Eritrea and Ethiopia didn’t have a sustained similar experience. The fact here is that longevity of a marriage is not sufficient reason to keep a dysfunctional, vice-full, deadly marriage to keep trotting like Chattanooga choo choo. That’s Nigeria, and unless it operates evenly to everybody’s benefit, perceived justice, and trust, no matter the spin doctoring by people like Ribadu and sanusi, the wheels are likely to come off and Chattanooga choo choo will eventually grind to a full stop.
“Before people resume singing their Songs of praise of Mister Sanusi, who’s among the people failing Nigeria –at least for the reasons mentioned here, they should  think about my essay and weigh in on it. “Those are the facts and not a debunking of Nigeria”.

But it was not all knocks to Lamido Sanusi on the cyber sphere though, another writer, Umez was enthralled by Sanusi’s homily.

He wrote: 

Fellow Countrymen/women, Sanusi spoke gospel!  I just want to say that “selfishness” in Nigeria has a deadly twin brother, namely, the senseless and irrational robbery of Nigerians by some Nigerian leaders only to feed the countries that consider Nigeria and Nigerians absolutely nothing.  Growing greener pasture abroad (with Nigerian money) when our people have no pasture is a senseless behaviour because those leaders who are doing this to our own people know (more than anybody) that the leaders of those foreign countries have no penny/kobo in Nigerian banks.  Those foreign leaders do not come to Nigeria for medical check-up/treatment; they WISELY invest in their own countries, knowing that a rat does not labour for a squirrel.

He continued: “When irrational decision (to feed, say Swiss people when Nigerians have no food) is factored into the selfishness equation (Gov. Sanusi adumbrated above),  it becomes abundantly clear why Nigeria today is worse than Nigeria yesterday, and why Nigeria tomorrow guarantees much worse scenario, all things being equal. 

For clarity, consider these reports, demonstrating such irrational, senseless behaviour: 

(1) “Nigeria loses about $4.5 billion (nearly N450 billion) annually as capital flight through technical services.” –Emma Ujah, Nigerian Vanguard, August 2001 

(2) “The Federal Government has called for a probe of state governors over how they spend the monthly federation allocations they receive and the frequency of their foreign trips. The Minister of State for Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, who made this call in Abuja during her visit to the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Dr. Mansur Muhtar, on Saturday, said that the government was worried by the high spending pattern of some governors, whom she accused of stashing their states’ resources away in foreign countries.”
–Oluyinka Akintunde, The Punch, May 2004

(3) “Nigerians have $100 billion (N13.7 trillion) stashed abroad and 25,000 doctors working in foreign countries because of the absence of an enabling environment at home.” –Economics Nobel laureate, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, former World Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Nigerian Vanguard, May 2004.

(4) “The Swiss Government is returning to Nigeria $458 million stolen by the late military dictator General Abacha and deposited in Swiss banks. The Swiss have already transferred $290 million of the money…..“The agreement that has been reached between Nigeria and Switzerland is a landmark agreement,” said World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz at a press conference this morning with Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Swiss Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economic Affairs Jean-Daniel Gerber.”
Source: http://web.worldban EXTERNAL/ NEWS/0,,contentM DK:20662395~ pagePK:64257043~ piPK:437376~ theSitePK: 4607,00.html 

(5) “If Nigeria had done nothing more than place the $300 billion it earned from oil between 1970 and 2001 in the bank, it would have had over $600 billion by 2001, or some 12 times the 2001 GDP. Instead, per capita GDP fell from $264 to $256 in constant 1995 US dollars, infrastructure deteriorated, infant mortality rose to 101 per 1000 live births in 2003 compared to 79 in Low Income Countries and 54 in South Africa.” …Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala, Managing Director, The World Bank:
Source:  http://web.worldban EXTERNAL/ COUNTRIES/ EASTASIAPACIFICE XT/INDONESIAEXTN /0,,contentMDK: 21632297~ pagePK:141137~ piPK:141127~ theSitePK: 226309,00. html 

Umez said that “the greatest irony of this act of senselessness is that most Nigerians will NEVER talk about it.  Why? Some benefit directly or indirectly from it; some are afraid of some political victimization; and some are simply afraid of their lives.  As such, it is much safer for them to engage in the long-standing theories and paradigms to explain away the current problems of development in Nigeria.  Self-destructive behaviour, i.e., “robbing Nigerians – your own people – only to feed foreigners” is the biggest elephant in our room”.  

To solve our problem, we must first acknowledge our problem head on.  It is that simple! He concluded.

Well, there is no doubt that Nigerians believe that the lop-sided nature of the country needs restructuring – in Nigeria, while all animals are equal, some are more equal than the others.

As Yinka Odumakin – who criticised “the sugar- coated sweet nothings of a sophist like Sanusi” said; “That Sanusi as CBN Governor could be making all the political statements all over the place is a further reason why Nigeria must be restructured. Could Soludo have made a fraction of all the political comments of Sanusi as CBN Gov and still be in office? Sanusi is speaking the Language of his geographical advantage, and anyone who understands the inequities of the Nigeria arrangement will not swallow all his bumkum”!

One also understands Ibiyinka Solarin’s anger with Sanusi’s assertion that Nigeria as presently structured is just fine. A dysfunctional federation where 92% of revenue [according to former Finance Minister Adamu Ciroma] is spent paying the salaries of government officials is not accptable.

Could Sanusi be right in saying that there is no North’?

Solarin asked: “On whose behalf was the coup of July 1966 staged? What about the pogroms? All the masterminds and their accomplices later became heads of states and billionaires.

“There is no north? Well, it produced  Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Buhari, and Babangida who had the temerity to call himself president of Nigeria, the psychopath Abacha, Abdusalami, and their clone Aremu Obasanjo – who having been discovered in 1966 was described as a ‘person that can be useful’ by Hassan Katsina.

“Why did Ifeanyichukwu A Ekwueme who introduced the idea of a six zone structure earn their enmity and fear, hence was not supported to be president in 1999. The Nigeria of today is what the northern military rulers made it to be, this is an undeniable fact!

“Some people discovered ‘one Nigeria’ between July 29th and Aug 1st, 1966 and they have been raping her since. A 36 state Nigeria has no future, force-fed as it is by earnings from petroleum. The likes of Sanusi have NO grounds to preach patriotism to those who want Nigeria restructured”, he concluded.

Whatever your view of the epistle according to St Lamido Sanusi, one fact from his theory is irrefutable.

Sanusi said: “We talk ethnicity when it pleases us. It is hypocrisy. You said elections were rigged in 1959, Obasanjo and Maurice Iwu rigged election in 2007. Was it a Southern thing? It was not. 

“The problem is: everywhere in this country, there is one Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba and Itshekiri man whose concern is how to get his hands on the pile and how much he can steal. Whether it is in the military or in the civilian government, they seat down, they eat together. In fact, the constitution says there must be a minister from every state. 

“Anybody that is still preaching that the problem of Nigeria is Yoruba or Hausa or Fulani does not love Nigeria. The problem with Nigeria is that a group of people from each and every ethnic tribe is very selfish. The poverty that is found in Maiduguri is even worse than any poverty that you find in any part of the South”.

However, it is equally true that we must keep our eyes on why we want Nigeria restructured – Each sector controlling their resources to kick-start our development and liberate the latent potentials of the county – and be careful not to cede the seductive weapon of patriotism to the opponents of restructuring. In the eyes of the unwary, one must be alert, that the opponents of true federalism do not wrap their anti-federalism rhetoric inside the foil of patriotism.