Over the last two days, the mood and atmosphere is gloomy in Nigeria especially in the upper side of the Niger. We are all saddened by the dethronement of our darling “Dawisu” of a Sarki. So many condemnation posts and show of anger and our dissatisfactions. Some even went a little overboard by attacking and insulting each other. A shame I must say.
In all fairness, we all are saddened not by the fact that Sunusi is losing the throne but for the unfortunate interference and disrespect for a traditional institution that is so powerful and historic by somebody that we feel has no moral ground to do so amidst his corruption allegation and all! Like I keep on saying, I would stand all day for the independence of our traditional institutions but what I would not take is how people try to link his dethronement to his inexistent ‘reforms as an Emir’ and ‘speaking the truth and against power’. No, it’s far from it, he was caught up deep in the middle of a Partisan Politics war. It normally ends two ways; you win or lose. SLS was a bit unlucky to end up on the losing side! He was all that is said of him, but certainly not a ‘reformist Emir’ that people try to paint him.
Politics enthroned him and politics dethroned him! Base on his antecedents, you will know that he knew what he was playing with and has already braced up for the consequences. By just sitting on that throne, he would have already satisfied his life long dream of “a prince becoming a king” like he said in 2014 on BBC Hard talk. He doesn’t care about it’s longevity. That’s why its laughable to see people dwell on his dethronement. The man knew what he was doing and still know what he wants. There is a hidden agenda behind underneath the schemes of how he refused to reconcile. The global recognition he has so much craves for were no longer coming with him on that throne. It’s just like what his daughter said…”he doesn’t need your sympathy”!
I followed every lecture SLS gave on YouTube and other media back in the days. Because I take pride in listening to how a man dissect every single problem that bedevil us and proffer solutions. He was a serial Banker, a seasoned Economist, an internationally recognised CBN governor, a great-great administrator and intellectual. He was man MCM! But what was he as an Emir? Was he an Ado Bayero-esque one or was he a reformist?
I don’t think anyone would choose the former because he was far from that. Ado Bayero oozed respect, aura, charisma and dignity. SLS “Dawisu” was on the hand, a fashionista, outspoken and always had his eyes on the spotlight. He made alot of people fell in love with the Kano Emirate just by his sleek, glamouring outfits both within and outside the palace. He glittered everywhere he set his foot on. Albeit the fact that he’s proclaimed to be modern and educated Emir, he was in the middle of scandals that you will expect from old and outdated Emirs. From publicly claiming the title of the ‘Sarki Yakin Daular Usmaniyya’ which is known to be the Emir of Bauchi, being questioned by the supreme council of the palace on his utterances because they feel he is belittling the Palace and many more.
What about the notion that he’s a ‘reformist Emir? Since his ascension to the throne, SLS has been abruptly vocal in the issues that bedevil the North and Nigeria as a whole. He has been critical on predicaments like Child abuse, Domestic violence, Illiteracy, drug abuse, Almajiri phenomenon and many more. At every point he had the chance to get off his leg off the gas of his Rolls-Royce, he did not for once hesitate to lament on those issues. He criticised every level of government starting from the local government up to the Federal level. Something we weren’t used to see from someone wearing a turban and lives in the four corners of any traditional institution! Kudos because that was very brave of him. But what are the underlying factors beneath phonetics being thrown in British accent? For someone that has the vast knowledge of Islamic jurisdiction and Western Education, you would never think after giving those motivational speech, he will walk straight to the back of his RR and to a Palace that is heaven on earth in the eyes of the poor and needy he is always talking about. But he did that all through the almost 6 years on the throne. If really malice and clout chasing wasn’t the intention, why didn’t he lead by example? Some argued that he isn’t constitutionally enshrined to do so. Absolutely true! But so is the Emir of Gombe who is believed to have an allocation that is not half of what the Kano Emirate does. He has built Lecture halls in Universities, Classroom blocks in Primary schools, Primary Health Care Centers, sponsored the education of 3,000 pupils as reported by Daily Trust. For context, this is someone I don’t know about you that I had never seen him spoke in any public gatherings! But you know what they said? Actions speak louder than words! Some people also argue that SLS speaking directly in the face of Government officials would have more impact than the Emir of Gombe’s method. I refuse to agree. People are failing for his gimmicks here! Here’s something that dines and eats from the government’s vault and still pointing deceitful fingers at others. If he so much care about the poor, how about rejecting the huge allocations given to his council to sponsor his flamboyant lifestyle and channel those monies into a sort of humanitarian funds to cater for the less privileged among his subjects? But no, he rather spends on vacations touring the world and buying data for his gram. He once said it himself that he spent on average a Million buying data from Airtel every month. Not that good in maths but that amounts to almost 36 to 37million on data from 2017 to date!
SLS as a king would have made Bruce Wayne jealous, he portray himself as the People’s hero by the day, then go back to eating from the same cookie jar in the night with same people he criticised!
He is so clever. He spoke of for or against particular thing then acted the opposite of it! He did that in a scaringly routine manner!
He spoke against Child marriage, but in turn married the 18 year old daughter of Lamido Adamawa.
He spoke against polygamy, but share matrimonial bed with four wives. Or does it make it any different because they are being taken care of by taxpayer’s Naira?
He spoke about the gap between the poor and the rich but drove through the poverty ridden Kano streets with so much fanfare like the Prince of Kavuki land!
He advocated for free education but was no where to be found when other district heads were there to bless the occasion of declaration of free education in Kano.
He called for the proscription of begging and the Almajiri but was absence and so was his voice. His presence would have shown the world that he value the education of the children of the poor is more valuable than his personal feud. May be Late Sheikh Jaafar was right about him. Maybe he finds it so hard to acknowledge and commend anything not done or said by him no matter how good and right it is. Some would say the last two points was so because of the feud between him and the Governor. But the two both attended BUK’s convocation and sat next to eachother at the middle of the said feud.
Earlier on, I was asked on twitter by my good friend Usman Ya’u if I think either Sa’adu Zungur or Aminu Kano would have tolerated SLS?
I did a rough thread answering it bluntly in the following context…
“None of them would have! I really want to know the full insight on what transpired between his granpops and Sardauna. Cs I have this feeling that his grandad was more like him.
I really used to think the guy really cared about Northern problems and solutions before not untill the moments he..
- Ascended the throne and did nothing but toured the world on vacation with more #500m inherited from Ado.
- Called for wives to slap back their husbands rather than report to the right authorities. Like where did he get that Islamically or from the West?
3.The moment he recklessly said that it’s the parents of the kidnapped Kano children that should be jailed for 7 years without condemning their Anambra abductors. Like where is his emotional intelligence in the face of the traumatic conditions the parents are?!
I came to realise this… He isn’t after anything, he is so consumed by politics of malice that push him to look for anything that would make him be on the spotlight. He derives so much clout from any ill vice he sees from the North, not that he cares to fix it, No!
He derives so much sense of fulfillment in dragging his people and religion in mud hiding behind ‘the truth’. Like yeah, everybody knows its the truth, now you are a powerful Emir with a lot of resources and connections at your disposal, what do you?
Apart from giving out phonetic speeches at gatherings? Or spending so much on expensive Morocco robes and Rolls Royce for Maikatanga to give you those shots for your Instagram?
I fell in love with him back in his CBN days, he was a great Economist and administrator. I still..
Believe he is and wish to see him contribute in or similar capacity to the development of the country. But I think, I learned from him that oratory do not solve problems, actions do! So I believe not Sa’adu Zungur, Aminu Kano nor even his father would have tolerated his egocentric and opportunistic ‘my own way or not it’ way of life! Walahi no one! And to think he works under an elected official with all the ego of having toured the State before getting elected!”
That was my answer to him. Personally, I’m somewhat happy that he’s no more on the throne because I never liked the Idea of him being in a regalia indoors while the country needs help in the areas that he’s known to be very good at; Economics!
I feel he’s more needed on the field than in the palace. He’s too outspoken, blunt and controversial to be a King! I said this back in 2014 and my Kano friends said I was being jealous because they now have an intelligent king. I had to shut up my big mouth.
Now what next for the former King?
After all the dust settles, I honestly feel and believe he should go back to the field and contribute more or perhaps in a political sphere (even though that would be very hard for someone of his personality unless he makes some big adjustments). The world is not over for Sanusi, but certainly is as “The King of the North”!
Siyi Umar Faruq writes from Bauchi can be reached via email@example.com