When a quiet probe was ordered by former President Goodluck Jonathan on the alleged financial malfeasance at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), its Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, went on an offensive that threw the administration off balance on its back.
When he was finally indicted and sent packing and lost his coveted seat as CBN Governor, it looked like he was victimised. But today, the chicken is coming home to roost as an amalgam of aggrieved powerful elements are fighting back at the loquacious economist with a plethora of allegations that suggest that emirate funds have been tampered with.
The Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating how over N4 billion were spent in over questionable circumstances under Sanusi’s watch.
The probe, coming shortly after Zamfara Governor, AbdulAziz Yari, a blue blood himself, made suggestions of hypocrisy on the part of Sanusi, has sparked talks of a backlash from northern elites against one of their own.
Meantime, the secretary and treasurer of the emirate council have both been summoned by the Kano anti-graft panel to to explain the huge expenditure that was believed to be without authorisation.
Recall that in his ‘Practice What You Preach’ response to Emir Sanusi two weeks ago, Governor Yari had hinted at fraud in the Kano Emirat Council.
He wrote, in part, through his spokesman, Ibrahim Dosara:
“… the emir should be aware that Allah who gives power to whoever He wills at His own time, also takes it away at the most inauspicious time. As elected officials, we are obliged to serve people just as we serve God. Within this precinct Governor Yari has done his best. As representatives of the best of our traditions, our Emirs, chiefs, kings and queens are also obliged to lead by example, show empathy, adjudicate with compassion, display wisdom and embrace the fear of God, in all they do. In this HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II is struggling.
“Recently, our erudite emir has been mired in several controversies, which rather than enhance his profile and the integrity of royalty, has put him very much on the spot. And the emir has put up a spirited defense of all the allegations against him. But he was not transparent enough, as he always accused officials, especially governors, to tell the public what he found in the Kano Emirate palace coffers when he ascended the exalted throne. This is the least of his people’s expectations of him. It was the first that our finest royalty would offer.
“Sacrifice is another attribute known to our royal fathers. But when an emir pledges to commit his hard earned resources for the face-lifting of the palace where he alone would reside and eventually transfers the burden to his impoverished subjects, there is a breach, or a problem.
“Late Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki, of blessed memory, used his money to rebuild the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto to his taste, but until his demise, he never tendered the bill to his subjects for reimbursement.
“Over time, we know our traditional fathers for their compassion. When their friends from far and near offer to assist them, they would rather the assistance was given to alleviate the sufferings of their people in cash or kind. But for a traditional ruler who identifies the problems of his people and utters these words: “We are in denial. The north-west and the north-east, demographically, constitute the bulk of Nigeria’s population, but look at human development indices, look at the number of children out of school, look at adult literacy, look at maternal mortality, look at infant mortality, look at girl-child completion rate, look at income per capita… The north-east and the north-west Nigeria are among the poorest parts of the world,” and yet when his friends offered help, he asks for a Rolls Royce.
There is more than a fundamental problem. There is a big disconnect. Like Governor Yari has always said, his respect for our creator will never waver. He will also rue joining issues with royalty, in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. He maintains that his reverence of the institution that HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II represents is also unshaken. Hon Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar is only asking HRH to either practice what he preaches or forever keep his peace, because in a situation where epidemics are taking our children, maternal mortality, uneducated youth, social vices and incompetent leaders are the national scourge, to borrow the words of the emir, and all he wants to do is ride a Rolls Royce in the face of palpable poverty, he shouldn’t engage in throwing accusations at others.
Kano kingdom is an important kingdom amongst the kingdoms in Africa. It is also an important and strategic institution in the history of Nigeria. The occupants of the seat before HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II played a significant and dignified role in making Nigeria what it is today. They respected themselves. HRH should emulate his predecessors and not play to the gallery in a manner that ridicules his own heritage.”