By Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh
For a great number of well-meaning Nigerians; Monday, 9th March, 2020 will perhaps remain one of the strangest moments in recent political happenings in the federation of Nigeria following the dethronement and speedy exiling of the 14th Emir of Kano from the exalted throne of the Kano Emirate. The face-off that started without attracting the attention of persons who had no business with Kano politics turned out to become a media sensation that has reverberated beyond Nigeria to continents far away.
More than anything else, APC’s quest to not only mismanage herself to self-destruct but also to leave behind legacies that will forever remain a very painful memory in the minds of the Nigerian people again damned the people’s opinion and criticism; fucked off whatever the international communities would say and then took on the seriousness and prioritization that should’ve been given to the task of alleviating the hunger and the suffering in the country just to dethrone an Emir! Imagine that.
Ordinarily, one would think that the actions of the Kano state government held some democratic or even economic dividends for the good people of Kano. Meanwhile, that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje – a shameless bribe-taker himself – wielded executive privileges through the usurpation of what should be judicial powers which ought to first of all investigate and prove the Emir’s guilt or otherwise before executing judgment, was the height of political recklessness and administrative misuse of privilege.
It is a known fact that Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II who is of the Fulani Sullubawa clan ascended the throne as the 14th Emir of Kano in 2014 following the demise of his granduncle – Alhaji Ado Bayero after having his stint with the banking profession. And due to his broad educational exposure, the Emir was never the type that would be quiet in the face of illegalities. In fact, it is safe to state that Emir Sanusi was one traditional ruler who came on board on the wings of partisan politics!
During his reign as the CBN governor, former Emir Sanusi had accused his commander-in-chief of the Nigeria armed forces of knowing the whereabouts of a $20 billion USD that disappeared from the coffers of the NNPC. It was a weighty allegation which would cost him his job as the CEO of Nigeria’s apex bank. The opinion of many was that the allegation was a part of an organized propaganda to remove then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from power.
Whether true or otherwise, it dented the image of the Jonathan administration to an irredeemable extent. It is also an established fact that the respected former Emir of Kano was a close ally of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso (SRK) and, for those familiar with Kanawa politics; this is also a reason for his dethronement. For back in 2014, SRK – then an APC stalwart – had enthroned Sanusi Lamido in a bid to consolidate his power over the politics of Kano.
Therefore, in a bid to rid the political space in Kano of the influence of SRK, it was only wise that Governor Ganduje should include the former Emir on the list of those to be affected. Governor Ganduje had begun his destructive assault by first aligning himself to the President – Major-General Muhammadu Buhari. For shortly after the 2015 general elections that brought him to office through the political ‘G-Wagon’ of SRK, trouble had started for the relationship they once enjoyed.
The godfather – although self-acclaimed – wanted to dictate for the godson and the godson would have none of that. Governor Ganduje would not have been more grateful when following the exit from the APC, bigwigs like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senators Saraki, Dino and Kwankwaso and governors like Aminu Tambuwal; the APC in Kano state fell into his grip.
He would use this ‘good fortune’ to edge out traces of SRK. On the other hand, SRK has never been in doubt about what to expect or how to respond as he worked through several subtle means to diminish the errant godson. For instance, the popular bribery saga – titled Gandollar – that had as lead actor no other than Governor Ganduje himself stashing bribe money away in his agbada; money he purportedly collected from a contractor is believed to be a sucker punch from the Kwankwaso camp.
Such salvo has been off and on from both sides of the divide ever since. The 2019 gubernatorial elections in the state and the validation of the monumental fraud that took place by the Supreme Court cemented Ganduje’s audacity. Once SRK’s favored candidate for governor had lost out via the judgment, it was time to deal with perceived enemies.
As a close ally of SRK, the tussle for supreme power over Kano politics between SRK and Governor Ganduje would’ve excluded Emir Sanusi if the Emir had not been too critical of the governor and several political elites within and beyond Kano state most of whom he accused of deliberately impoverishing the northern region through denying the region’s youth access to free and quality education.
The Emir had deplored the elites of the region for encouraging an economically unsustainable polygamous practice and for openly preferring Boko Haram and Islamic radicalism in lieu of pursuing cosmopolitanism. But he was correct in all those assertions even though he himself was by no means a believer in what he preached! At best, former Emir Sanusi is a hypocrite who understands the art of disguising his avarice around sympathetic causes he thinks the elites of the north minus himself abhorred.
And in his mind, that the north had turned itself into the federation’s sinkhole; willingly rejecting every opportunity to be economically viable was due to the greedy handiworks of the elite in the region. He does not think it was a bad idea – for instance – for him to be critical of polygamy while himself was a polygamist per excellence. In a nutshell, his solution as to why the north was economically backward laid in blaming everyone else but himself.
Strangely, many of the North’s billionaires are like him for they prefer to set up shop in the south than in the north and, did not think that their action was sabotage. Re-orientation or what can be called ‘Mind Shift’ is in great need. And depending on the manner it was approached, the people looked as willing to receive the message and the messenger. Seeing this opportunity, the former Emir wasted no time to begin a campaign for reforms in his own way. In doing this, he alienated himself from the political class, the elites and even the poor.
If you ask me; there is no crusader for the reformation of the north that is more prominent than Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Since 2015, PMB has managed to route the hearts and the minds of the people of the north back to farming; a feat that had defied previous presidents; without incurring the wrath of the elite. Even though, it is necessary to state that not all of the people are farming with a willing heart.
That said, APC’s hunger to bequeath very painful memories unto the people is in a way wrapped around this dethronement. And to say that the least that the Nigerian people expected from the APC now is a senseless imbroglio with the traditional institution which is very well regarded by the people even before the advent of the APC, is to state the obvious. The change mantra which greatly excited the people back in 2015 has since turned to their worst nightmare.
From the failed promise of a 50 naira per liter for PMS, to the failed promise of ending epileptic power supply, to the failed promise of ending insecurity, to the failed promise of creating employment or stabilizing the economy, unto the failed promise of making the country self-sufficient in food and to the failure to check further devaluation of the naira; most Nigerians’ only wish is knowing when this ‘nightmare of a government’ will come to an end.
President Buhari’s open association with very greedy and corrupt politicians like Gandollar has not helped the matter in the least bit, as it only made the pains of having deceived the Nigerian people unbearably excruciating. What would it cost the President if he had waded in to the matter just like Alhaji Aliko Dangote had previously done? It would’ve cost him nothing.
To allow a rogue personality like Gandollar to get away with this unforgivable act of insensitivity and, to even be accused of abetting such showed that whatever pain the citizens of Nigeria was going through today are orchestrated from the office of the President of Nigeria!
Take it or leave it, the APC is a vindictive government! But then, not all the already victimized are really victims. Some are paying for their sins of falling for the change mantra trap and denying Nigeria the El-dorado she would’ve attained by now if Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and her boss – Dr. Jonathan was still in power. Others are paying for ‘insulting’ the cabal through dumping the party in a manner the cabal considered rude.
So for me, I hate to state that the APC is one political party in Nigeria that seemed to be very confused as to who their allies were and who wasn’t. It is pertinent to note that whenever any people came to this point in confusion, it is dangerous to meddle with their affairs. But in this case, it is impossible to not have to meddle because APC’s continued stay in power both in the state level and the center was already past the traumatic stage for most Nigerians.
The people of Kano state, the north and indeed Nigeria had allowed these crop of persons we referred to as ‘politicians’; the likes of Governor Abdullahi ‘Gandollar’ Ganduje to rearrange our society in the way and manner that suited their egos instead of our needs. Why will woe not betide the people of Kanawa – especially all those who applauded this act of executive recklessness – in the days ahead, when the real consequence of Ganduje’s actions fully unfolded itself?
Comrade Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh; an advocate for attitudinal change writes from Abuja. 08062577718.