By Stephanie Nnkeka Mbata
Nigeria is forever great! There’s always an event that will heat up our political space in Nigeria.This time around, it was the “Clash of the Titans”! best described as Apollo vs Nemesis.
Nemesis was the God of retribution and revenge while Appollo was the god of logic and reason according to Greek mythology. At the end of this scuffle apparently Nemesis had the final say. This best describes what happened in Kano as the Emir was finally dethroned! Although a cross-section of Nigerians have bemoaned the dethroning by the Kano State Government. This topsy-turvy has been looming for some months now with the handwriting visibly and boldly written on the wall that “The die is cast and Caesar has crossed the Rubicon.”
The Emir demystified the awe that surrounds the royal stool as he veered from the expected code of conduct of an Emir in line with the norms, values, culture and traditions of the Kano Emirate. He was vocal and bold in expressing his views on socio-political issues impacting the region.This act incurred the wrath and criticism of the Conservatives in northern region. He called an end to child marriage which is a common practice in the region; took a swipe at the northern elites to build more schools instead of Mosques and infrastructural development, amid others. Sanusi had advocated for population planning and had said that polygamy is increasing poverty in the region.He was also of the opinion that Eugenics be adopted in tackling the Alimajiri issues in the North.
It didn’t end there, he has critized the federal and State government on policies that obviously didn’t go well with the one that pays the piper. The Kano State governor waded in by signing into law four new Emirates. This unprecedented move saw Sanusi’s traditional domain and power as Emir reduced to the barest minimal. According to the law, The Emir, will only preside over 10 local LGAs out of 44 in the state. Although the Kano government through its Secretary has cited insubordination and disrespect for authorities and refusal to attend official meetings as the reasons, Is that it? Was there principle of fair hearing as enshrined in our constitution.The tradition demands that the Emir must not be a meddlesome interloper who is expected not to make controversial statements but must work with the State government to uphold the unity of his people. This activism would have been better off as a private citizen as the throne would limit his opportunities and contributions to Nigeria and the world. Were the points raised by the royal father valid? If yes, why not take the message and forget the messenger!
One would understand why our political elites most times are surrounded by sycophants who only tell them what they want to hear. These point are valid regardless of whose Ox is gored! Sanusi’s intentions was to restructure the mind sets of the northern region to swerve them from the orthodox way of thinking to a more modern Philosophy that reflects reality in this 21st Century but it seems like those entrusted to represent the majority are not ready for a reformist Emir! It is very unfortunate that up to this point in our political history, we are yet to separate individuals and personalities, personal interest against public interest from our institutions which ought to be the other way round.
State governors and other political gladiators must learn to separate politics from the traditional institutions who are the custodians of history, culture and traditions of the people. There’s always a price to pay for not aligning oneself to the status quo of your tax payers which the Emir has indeed paid dearly for it. Whichever way the pendulum swings at the end of it all, history will remind us that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was once an Emir of Kano State and will be remembered for his dexterousness, tenaciousness, assiduousness and sagacity. He has lost the traditional power but his influence will continue to echo in Nigeria and beyond. What option is left for the former Emir who has gone on exile? We can only watch events unfold. My 2 cents.