Alhaji Sanusi Lamido the controversial Emir of Kano holds a bachelor and masters degree in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He was also educated in sharia and Islamic studies at African International University Khartourn Sudan where he graduated with a bachelor degree. Sanusi was teaching Economics at Ahmadu Bello University before he decided to join the banking industry in 1985. As a Kano prince his ascension was rapid and smooth, attaining the position of group managing director of Nigerian premier – bank First Bank of Nigeria PLC in 2009. In the midst of the global economic crisis late president Yaradua appointed Sanusi on the 1st of July 2009 as the governor of the central bank of Nigeria.
Alhaji Sanusi is a prolific writer and has presented papers on banking, politics, religion, society and many others. Many of his papers have been published in academic journals, books and newspapers the world over. Alhaji Sanusi has been conferred with a National Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). He also won the “Global Central Bank Governor for 2010” by The Banker Magazine – a publication of the Financial Times.
Despite the numerous achievements of Sanusi his tenure as central bank governor was marred with crisis. On his inception as the central bank governor Sanusi set out to sanitize the Nigerian banking industry. It was on record that his predecessor Prof. Soludo successfully re-capitalized Nigerian banks therefore his gesture was considered an interpolated vendetta in many quarters. The banking sector was trimmed down to 24 under Soludo and the thinking in the financial sector was that Nigerian baking industry was healthy and resourceful. However Sanusi went ahead for the second scrutiny of Nigerian banks. The fallout was that 10 out the 24 remaining Nigerian banks were declared insolvent.
As a result of the exercise the CEO of five banks were removed and subsequently replaced. Cecilia Ibru the then managing director of Oceanic bank was imprisoned and her assets were confiscated. The conviction of the incongruence of Sanusi’s action created sporadic negative attacks and subsequent legal tussle. At long last, the assets confiscated from Oceanic bank were later sold for a meager 25million about hundred percent lower than their original value. The legal battles that followed were not enough to change the position of Sanusi. The confiscated banks were sold to aids and cronies of Sanusi according to the owners and share holders who instituted legal actions to retrieve their assets forcefully taken away from them by Sanusi.
Sanusi also inaugurated the establishment of Islamic banks in Nigeria despite the circularity of Nigerian legislation and the controversy that came with it. This single action exposed the bias and ethnical rationality of Sanusi making him an unworthy occupant of the central bank governor. As a central bank governor if Muslims deserve a Muslim bank it is as well logical that Christians should have a Christian bank considering the Nigerian setting. The bank of IOR of Vatican is a classical example. Again despite protest and public uproar Sanusi went ahead to license the first Islamic bank JAIZ Bank Plc in 2011. It is note worthy that Jaiz bank was founded in 2003 but previous central bank governors considered the issue of operational license to Jaiz a keg of gunpowder. Sanusi did not only issue license to Jaiz but went ahead to defend Islamic bank publicly.
Another action that exposed the insensitivity of Sanusi to the national climate and condition was his donation of 100 million naira to victims of Boko Haram in Kano State. Despite the magnanimity of the donation of such huge amount by a sitting central bank governor who by all standards is a public officer, the puzzle was that a central bank governor should have been sensitive to the thousand other victims of Boko Haram and many other Christians that have been slaughtered by his subjects. This single action exposed Sanusi as a shrewd little tribal head whom should have been relieved immediately of such a sensitive, important and national assignment.
On the insurgent of Boko Haram Sanusi defended the upsurge of Boko Haram by saying in one of his infamous interview that the insurgency is a response to the 13 percent derivation been given to the Niger Delta. It is very unbecoming of a central bank governor to defend or attribute the massacring of thousands of Nigerians by Boko Haram to derivation. Among the controversies surrounding Sanusi is question of ethics. Sanusi was accused of plagiarism by a Nigerian adjunct professor of engineering in United States. Professor Victor Dike alleged that Sanusi violated his copyright in two different occasions. The case is still pending in court. Also among Sanusi’s litany of controversies was the nationalization of three banks, the funding of asset Management Corporation and the introduction of N5000 note. All these activities were followed by public opprobrium but the Kano Prince was not deterred. Defiant as a chicken coming home to roast he went ahead to accuse the government for misappropriation of fund by alleging that 49 billion dollars was not remitted to the federation account. Subsequently Sansui corrected himself by saying it was 10 billion.
Those who live in glass house should not through stone they say. Evidently the prince forgot that the financial reporting council of Nigeria had not approved his financial report for the central bank the previous year. The institution (FRC) had accused the Prince of enormous financial misappropriation and irregularities. Ghost projects and inflated payments were among the accusations that made the approval of Sanusi’s report impossible. The government may not have sacked the prince earlier because of the embarrassment and shame it could have brought to the royal kingdom but Sanusi blew the hornet’s nest and his ejection from central bank was inevitable. Sanusi bite more than he can shew; the government used the big harmer and fired the Kano Prince. Subsequently the government said it was investigating the relationship between Sanusi and the Boko Haram and confiscated his passport for fear that he might run away.
In view of all the recorded allegations against Sanusi the governor of Kano state Kwnkwanso anointed him the Emir of Kano. Kwankwnso was elected twice as Governor of Kano under PDP. He was also a minister under PDP but defected to APC with the five governors when the decamped. APC, the opposition party in their recklessness did not consider the implications of rooting for a man who has multiple cases in the court for the position of a notable Emir. The one million dollar question then is was Sanusi the only qualified person for the exalted office of Emir of Kano the second highest Islamic throne in Nigeria considering that Ado Bayero is blessed with children.
Could Kwankwanso and APC not have saved the exalted throne the crisis that ensued with the proclamation of Sanusi by choosing as successor the eldest son of the defunct Emir? Was the desperate adoption of Sanusi more important than the preservation of the exalted throne? The crisis that followed claimed 5 human lives. Kwankwanso is accusing the federal government of meddling with an issue that is the exclusive reserve of Kano government and the four kingmakers but could he not have avoided the crisis and the death of his subjects by doing the right thing? Was the appointment of Sanusi meant to pre-empt justice or provide an escape route from his numerous crimes and court proceedings. Could any responsible governor or opposition party not have respected the pending judiciary processes? Was the appointment of Sanusi not a flagrant abuse and disrespect to constituted authority and rule of law? Among the cases in court are the ones instituted by Professor Dike, Akingbola and Ibru. These complaints may never see the light of the day and the complainants may never get justice for the evil perpetrated by Sanusi. These men and women are mere citizens and not government functionaries therefore their actions can not in any way be attributed to victimization of Sanusi by federal government.
What is the moral justification for appointing somebody like Sanusi to the exalted throne of the Emir of Kano? This appointment could be attributed only to dirty politics and utter recklessness if not moral decadence. The kingdom of the Emir of Kano is important to Nigeria as the position affects our day to day activities. The children of the immediate past Emir were not present at the inauguration of Sanusi and that explains the controversy behind the choice of Kwnkwanso. There absence is tantamount to dissociation from the manoeuvre and intrigues of Kwankwanso and his stooges. Could that be attributed also to Godluck and his Government? Until we begin to accord the national interest a privileged position in our decisions the world will never take us serious. Buhari and Tinubu should begin to understand that one thing is politics and another is national interest. Issues that border on national interest should be treated with decorum. Every responsible leader is worried about the preceding legacy. If Sanusi was the only option for the exalted throne of the Emir of Kano, then our generation is doomed.