The Northern Status Quo’s Problem with Emir Sanusi

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Hassan Hassan

There are reasons Emir of Kano, Nigeria, Muhammad Sanusi İİ finds himself dense in the current orchestrated campaign of calumny against him. And as usual, as the hidden hands behind northern problems and Emir Sanusi’s decamping know the truth, the gullible northern poor do not. In fact, some stooges of the elite themselves victim of same problems are up against him on behalf of madders and any attempt to change the status quo, for whatever reason. İ can count these reasons:

First reason: Emir Sanusi is first of his type at his own time. The only comparison was his grandfather, Sanusi İ, from whose lineage this Sanusi lays claim to the throne and got it on most cherished merit.

The Sanusi’s leadership was intellectually oriented, based on the Abbasyd traditions of Islamic Qiyaada. The grand Sanusi was three men in one. He was the emir, the Imam and the judge. He ruled, judged and led the faithful prayers. His Islamic knowledge informed his modest lifestyle, his bold political disposition and consistent in judgment and decisions. He was firm, in charge.

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That naturally put him as a threat to the then northern region’s political leadership, and the Sardauna feared that his popularity was going to usurp his own position and may even lead to Sanusi claiming the Sokoto throne. A crisis of hegemony ensued.

He was deposed and sent on exile to Azare and the rest was a story, he later died in Wudil. It was his knowledge, even sainthood and popularity that saved his grace. They contemplated jailing him, but someone advised them not to. His popularity would turn the people against the Sardauna. As you may have seen in the narrative lane, it is the same repeat of history, and this is the beginning of this new conspiracy.

The northern elite and aristocrats didn’t want Sanusi İİ to be Emir for just same inherited attributes of granddaddy that make him even more handsome in a modern age. He was made up in mind, heart and orientation for the job that needs strong knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence. Even with the constitutional changes that relegated emirs to the back, apparently informed by the fear of persons like Sanusi İ, this Sanusi’s compelling knowledge qualifies him to lead prayers, pass correct judgment and shine like a star. There are learned Emirs, yes, but none, never like this Sanusi and none ever except that Sanusi.

Envy is a northern human disease our people got from the orientations of the leaderships overtime, and Emir Sanusi’s profile is a threat to just all of them in all the key positions across all the three arms, in Kano and across the north. Why is Sanusi the only Emir speaking for the north’s development? Please ask the emirs.

Second reason. It is the tradition in history from the caliphs down to this time; any responsible, knowledgeable leader must use their knowledge to lead. In Nigeria and its north, this is strange, much as we all claim God and religion. We are not used to practice religion or knowledge. We only preach them. That is why we are valueless, too big but got small heart, mean, coward to anyone who assumes a level of practicing religion in their personal and official life and demand others to do same.


That is Emir Sanusi’s second offence. He came and observed the immense problems. Some say he is an elite too and was part of the conspiracy that put us at the mercy of street begging. Yes. He may had been anything before, even the sole person responsible, you can say. But in what capacity did he? Isn’t there the change of heart over time?

Now, as Emir, he knows from Islamic discipline that Allah wants a reason in him to do the job, to change the north, a pencil His Lords Wants to rewrite the history of the north. And it is the first leader and teacher, Prophet Mohammad ( PBUHH) that said, ‘your lmam/leader/change agent/mobiliser is among you. It was not just a reference to prayer. Solve your own problems.

And so the servant stands up to the call of Allah and wants to do something. Where he can, within his domain, he did and will do much to prove his expected worth. Where he can’t, like in politics, he has to mobilise the leadership to stand up to same challenge. A needy place needs many things, actions at one, from all fronts and this is the Emir’s concern.

And the order of doing things, he knows, is to examine, discuss the problems, dimensions and impact, effects. That was all he said in Sokoto, Minna, Bida, Kano, Kaduna, and will have to say it anywhere to educate everyone to see the magnitude of problems in order to determine the quantum of solutions to be mobilised.

But in every place he speaks, the blend of this Emir’s mastery of English, his marvelous dress, his ability to recall history, give examples, sonorous, resonance of his, voice are painful to the guilty, the mean and the coward, and the only way to get him stop it is to politicise issues in one summation: an emir shouldn’t talk like this. It is from same place İ heard, many times, about the need to modernise the traditional institutions and make them relevant.

There are many Sausi’s in the respect of trivializing cardinal issues by turning them into the clumsy personal pot of a cruel, selfish, dead hearts. Sanusi is the only opportunity we have in the institution like we have President Buhari in politics to do the best to help our people.

Third reason. Because of the reasons above, it is a taboo in the north to question the dominant idea, statement and action no matter the wrongs with them. And it is thrice an offence if the questions are coming from the young generation no matter right they may be.

Emir Sanusi did both. His ideas are challenging the dominant, and he is a relatively young emir. In a society where knowledge and piety are nothing to value and to respect, only potbellies and starched agbada are revered, even if worn by kids. Emir Sanusi has a flat, straight up tummy, no less than athlete, ready to play hard on the issues.

The fifth reason. They want this Sanusi threat off their necks. And quick. Politics is the easiest means to bring a person down from repute and from any position, the northern problems are politicized so that if the Emir continues to raise them, he is tagged a politician, and it is easy to pitch him against the political leadership, particularly in Kano, so that in the tussle, Governor Ganduje will get rid of him in the name of same phrase of his unnecessary indulgence in politics. Is Ganduje that dull?

Time will tell.

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