* -Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) – By Austen AKHAGBEME:
His morbid desire has always been that of ascending the throne of his fore fathers. He desired it far more than the Presidency of Nigeria. He got it against the run of play and just after five years, six months and 26 days, he descended abruptly from the throne, forced out by the intrigues of power play miffed in political vendetta.
Mohammadu Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano, saw it coming. Yet, he was not deterred or perturbed. The rebel in him will prefer to align with the side of truth than the side of popular opinion. This has brought him infamy, hate, disdain even among his contemporaries and relatives.
When his domain was balkanised and divided among the princes into several autonomous emirates and booby trap of a law was activated in 2019 to prepare a legal ground for his great fall, nobody needed a soothsayer to know that it was just a matter of time.
But the reasons adduced by the state government for his removal were carefully crafted to make the dethroned Emir culpable in the minds of the average Talakawa in Kano. He was said to be disrespectful to constituted authority as unbecoming of a revered ruler, father and the custodian of the culture of the people. He was also accused of financial mismanagement and shady land deals, bringing the Emirate to disrepute. Whether this was true and sufficient enough to dethrone and defile, again, a highly revered traditional institution is a question hanging on our lips.
Sanusi, as controversial as some regard him to be, was a dogged crusader against the backward, conservative, retrogressive and outdated practices, lifestyle, beliefs and mindset of the average northerner vis-a-vis modernity and progress of the northern society. He quoted statistical data to bring to limelight the hidden pains of the girl child and the biting poverty prevalent in the north.
Diplomacy was not part of him when it comes to telling the truth to power. He is an activist that cannot be caged under the royal robes and regale of a monarch. He is too social for the conservative paraphernalia of his dream office, a polished square peg in a round hole. He never forgot his training as an Economist, the reason he could reel out facts and figures and juxtapose them with development index and indicators as it affects the North to the consternation and fury of his traducers.
His intelligence and acquaintance with modernity and the politics of globalization made him fear for the future of the north. Yet, this was his ordeal. Sacred areas like child bearing and rearing, Almajiri education, Sharia, girl child education et cetera, did not miss his prying eyes or his caustic tongue. He truly has fought a fight against conservatism and reactionary forces in the north and paid a costly price. It is said that those who speak the truth are hated the most. And that is the story of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The truth is truly on trial.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Culumnist with Blank NEWS Online