Did you know that in May 1962, on the departure of the British colonial administrator and the then Governor of Northern Nigeria, Sir Gawain Westray Bell, many people in the North and beyond including Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, the then Emir of Kano and grandfather of present Sarki Sanusi felt that the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello might follow the example of Chief Obafemi Awolowo by recommending an emir to be Governor of the North just as the then Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, was appointed as Governor of Western Region? In fact the political rivalries that consume late Sarki Sanusi as the emir of Kano was mainly due to his over interference in politics.
The late Emir Sanusi, a man known to have his way as far back as to the time when his father was on the throne was one of those responsible for the success of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in the election of 1951.
His emirate was the most single local administrative unit in the country and he ruled it with a firm hand. He combined both power and a handsome pay packet because his emirate was well endowed. In fact as far back as 1914, Emir Sanusi earned 14,000 pounds a year when the Governor-General of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard earned only 6, 600 Pounds. Sanusi was in actual fact, treated as primus inter pares among the Emirs of Northern Nigeria. Even at one time, only the Emir of Kano was deemed important enough by Lugard to represent the North on his Nigerian Council of 1914.
The mother of it all being that when Sir G.W. Bell, the Governor of the North, proceeded on leave in 1961, Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, acted for him.
When the Sardauna himself became premier, he too treated Sanusi with consideration.
In 1962, Sardauna began to feel that his position as Northern Premier was equally to that of a grand emir who was superior to all other traditional rulers in the North including the Sultan of Sokoto.
Of particular interest was an incident which the Sardauna did not find funny one bit and which he considered an affront. It was during a formal occasion in the race course when the Emir of Kano stole the spotlight by arriving in full splendor and pageantry after the Sardauna had been seated and the whole assemblage had to stand up for the Emir in traditional homage and honour. It was just too much for the Sardauna to bear. This and many more issues put leadership of late SANUSI at stake.
The above history is just an attempt to figure out the resemblance of present emir with his late grandfather especially regarding their eloquence artistry and joining issues with top government functionaries.
One can even assert that the duos enjoy being the subject of discussion in almost all the National issues, they wouldn’t mind to be dethrone so long as what they believe is true is being uttered. To them, there is no beauty in royal silence while things are going the other way. In fact, they see themselves as not only traditional rulers but also as citizens who enjoys equal right of expression where their view can be voiced out irrespective of the topic of discussion.
The whole of Sanusi’s speech at #Kadinvest was a true replica of our society with the exception of differentiating mediaeval Islam and the present practice. The doctrine of Islam can never change because it is divinely programmed to connect with the changing phases of socialization.
He should rather blame our attitudinal changes regarding the exact Islamic teachings than the religion itself.
Finally, Sarki Sanusi’s radicalism can only carry more weight if he resolves to empower the “unproductive population” as he claimed with his ocean of wealth through philanthropic gestures so that people will understand him better. I believe if the likes of him can surrender one third of their wealth, the abject poverty bedeviling the entire country will be reduced to its lowest form. While commending the courageous passion of Sarki Sanusi for being the voice of the muted kings, I do hope that the royal utterances will always be guided with wisdom and decency.
Usman Yahaya Misau, email@example.com