By Fr. Benjamin Achi
The dethronement of the erstwhile Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is arguably the most trending story in the Nigeria media space at the moment.
His dethronement as a matter of fact looks more like a canonization for me. Yes, it would go down in history that Emir Sanusi was dethroned but the question would always be: for what reason? And if the correct answer should always be supplied, I think it would always sound glorious to hear that a man preferred the path of truth to the glories of a throne.
Honestly, I think Sanusi has lost nothing. On the contrary, he has gained so much from this dethronement. It’s even some sort of Good news. As it stands now, a certain man who knows so much and who has a lot to offer would no longer battle with the restrictions of an ancient traditional stool.
Sanusi is a blessing to this generation. He is indeed a rare breed. He is in a class of his own. He is not perfect yes. But no truly honest person can deny he is really different. Whenever I think of Sanusi and remember the prevailing mindset of the greater percentage of the people in his part of the country, a particular analogy comes to my mind: I see a bright shining diamond in the midst of some debris. Pardon me if you feel offended by this thought of mine but that is honestly how I feel.
I’ve never stopped wondering how this guy happened to hail from the northern part of this country. His thoughts, his great education, his mindset, his philosophy, his perception about life: these are not the forte of many from that part. His likes are rare and far between. They know. Every honest person knows. The northern oligarchs do not like him and would never like him. His person, his pedigree, his credentials, his mindset, his philosophy, everything about him, runs contrary to everything they know and hold dear. His person alone is for them, an indictment even without uttering a word. And that is why when he speaks, it becomes double punishment, double torment for the establishment.
Sanusi’s dethronement was no surprise to me, just as it never sprang a surprise to him too. I expected it and Sanusi himself anticipated it and I think, was even prepared for it. They started by splitting his emirate, creating more three out of the existent one. That was enough red flag. That was enough warning! And Sanusi is not a fool. He got the full message of that serious warning. But a man already enslaved to the truth could not be cowed nor deterred. He was resolute to spend his life in service to the truth. It shocked Ganduje and his band of vultures. They couldn’t believe he would not shut up. They thought they were dealing with an average Nigerian man in power. They thought he loved the THRONE more than the TRUTH. They were wrong. Dead wrong! Mallam Sanusi Lamido is no ordinary Nigerian. He is Mallam Sanusi. He knows who he is.
And so he kept chastising them with his words, pulling sensitive strings and shaking the biggest of tables without bating an eyelid. But instead of listening to the voice of reason that the heavens decided to bless them with in Sanusi, they chose to gag him instead. Truth never dies. It is invincible. The voice that bears it knows and that is why such voices keep paying benediction to it. Sanusi is one such voice.
I have nothing to say to Ganduje and his ilk. I have no more word for the northern oligarchs, more than what Mallam Sanusi said in their hearing at Kaduna very recently at the birthday celebration of Mallam Nasir El Rufai. He looked them straight in the eyes and told them: “if the north does not change the way it goes about things, the north will destroy itself”. From what they just did, it doesn’t seem they got the full import of those words.
Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise. Those guys up there don’t look like those who desire the light. They don’t seem teachable. But time shall tell. And they may learn the lesson the hard way. And that day, they would remember a certain Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.