In 2009 when Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the current Emir of Kano, was being considered for the job of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, someone who claimed to have known him since the 1980s spoke about his character and temperament.
Sanusi, he said, is a man who is a devoted Muslim without being overly pretentious about it. He is so well-learned in Islamic knowledge, his Fulani tradition and history that he also approaches it with open mind.
“He never shies away from confronting the hypocrisy of Northern politicians who use Islam to mislead the downtrodden masses of the North.”
Now, some northern politicians are getting uncomfortable with an Emir who will not just watch while his people are governed with treachery.
They are now sponsoring merchants and pen mercenaries to rubbish the Emir and call his integrity to question.
As people of Kano and northern Nigeria, we owe it a duty to ourselves and our unborn generations to see through and expose the scheme and designs of those among us who hate the truth.
Truth is bitter, and many just can’t face it. Instead of finding a way to live with the truth, they would rather fight it. And so it was that the fearless Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II spoke truth to power and became enemies of those who love deceit and crave lies.
Should we continue to lie to ourselves and as a result keep our people and region in perpetual backwardness? Definitely No. None of us with even an iota of conscience would wish for that.
No doubt, anyone who thinks or believes that we don’t have problems in the north is living in denial. Such a person is deceiving himself.
We have serious problems, and part of it is what Emir Sanusi has drawn our attention to, and for which some misguided fellows are now helping to market some nebulous and distorted charges against His Highness.
When an Emir, rather than connive and conspire with the political authority as was the case before, to further push his people into the abyss of poverty, chooses to speak for the poor and downtrodden so that the issues that keep them at the bottom of the social ladder can be addressed; such an Emir deserved to be treated like a hero.
But here we are throwing insults at someone who ordinarily deserved accolades for not turning a blind eye to the misery and deprivation that our people have endured for so long.
Is it not true that our patriarchal notion of Islam in the North, which tends to interpret the religion only as the rule of men and the denigration of women, is affecting our development and even growth as a people?
Is it not true also that we have negated the education of the girl child and so unwittingly create family problems that have continued to spill over to the society?
Is it not true that primary school enrollment for the North-West and North-East is less than 30 percent?
Is it also not true that our inability to educate our children is as a result of the failure of successive leaderships in the region?
So what exactly did Emir Sanusi say that we find so disagreeable that our elites had to resort to sponsoring media attacks against him?
How can a people hate truth this much and hope for progress?
Emir Sanusi is promoting equal opportunity for our women in the North so that their capacity to nurture the family and train as children worthy of a decent society can be enhanced. What is wrong with this?
Emir Sanusi is asking us to stop forced marriages in the North so that the dignity of our daughters can be sustained. What is wrong with this?
Emir Sanusi is asking our men in the north to stop using their women as punching bags and instead love and cater for them. What is wrong with this?
Would we rather continue the present practice of domestic violence and arbitrary divorce that is rampant in northern Nigeria? What exactly did the Emir said that is not true?
Someone said that the Emir publicly campaign against begging but engages in alms-sharing show in his palace. As the protector of his people, was the Emir expected to turn away beggars from his palace before his campaign to get them rehabilitated receive government attention?
Was he expected to drive away small children who came to his palace in search of what to eat simply because they are beggars; a nomenclature they acquired through no fault of theirs. What exactly was the Emir’s offence?
Emir Sanusi came to the throne on June 9, 2014. And for almost three years, our so-called public-spirited investigative Journalists in the north saw no problem with the finances of the Kano Emirate.
The accounts of the Kano Emirate Council were balanced until Emir Sanusi challenged our political leaders on salient issues that are germane to our overall development. Suddenly, accusations of financial recklessness and misuse of the emirate funds started flying around.
In fact, this is now what the haters of truth in Kano and elsewhere in the north are planning to promote to secure the investigation and possible suspension of the Emir.