Beyond Sanusi-zation

By Ikenga Chronicles March 19, 2020

Beyond Sanusi-zation

— By Iloh Friday Okechukwu

That Lamido Sanusi has been deposed as the emir of Kano emirate is no longer news; rather, what is trending is the justification for the dethronment of the monarch. I have read quite a deluge of writings, for and against, the torpedo. My objective here is neither to move for or against Sanusi’s sack. I wanna xray the veracity of some of Sanusi’s averment.

Sanusi definitely rocked the boat of the political dogma that has been the substratum upon which Northern Nigeria has been thriving in the negative well before independence. The erstwhile emir, while on the throne, repeatedly told those concerned, that poverty is the fabric of Northern Nigeria. I have read several write ups wherein the deposed emir was alleged to have fuelled terrorism, embezzled money, etc. These allegations may or may not have happened. How truthful are those statements credited to Sanusi on the socio-political climate of Northern Nigeria, as it affects the girl child, women, poverty, diseases, access to education, etc.

Some persons have shouted themselves hoarse, saying that, Sanusi is a hypocrite, that he is guilty of the malfeasance that he accused the Northern elites and power brokers of. Assuming, without conceding it, that this is true, would this affect the truthfulness of Sanusi’s assertions, if indeed, those assertions were true? If the Devil points out to God, that a fellow standing in judgment before Him, God, is a murderer; if indeed this accusation is true, would God treat this murderer’s fuckup less or jettison the accusation because it was brought to the fore by the despicable Devil? Another illustration. If the Devil asserts that two plus two totals four; and an angel of God, say, Michael or Gabriel, asserts that the addition of two and two sums four. Both answers are correct, isn’t it? Would any rational person refuse to acknowledge the correctness of the Devil’s answer just because it is king of all liars? Truth remains constant notwithstanding the sayer; and, that is the beauty of truth over falsehood and its associates.

The North, more than any region in ancient or modern Nigeria, reeks of indescribable and pervasive poverty. You don’t need to be a professor to understand this. This gory, excruciating poverty becomes nauseating and mindblowing when one considers the fact that since independence till date, the North, more than any other region, has ruled Nigeria most. I hold the opinion, and I crave to be contradicted, that no emir, or sultan, from the time of Usman Dan Fodio up until Sanusi’s emirship, ever looked the North in the face and told her the truth, whether sincerely or sycophantic-ally. Sanusi asked the one billion pound question, why is the North backward? Why is the North unconcerned about her backwardness?

Until not too long ago, vaccination against polio and other child killer diseases was almost impossible in greater parts of Northern Nigeria. Why so? The belief was that vaccination would make those who it was administered upon sterile! This mental anomy was one of the things Sanusi pointed out. If Shekau, the Boko Haram warlord should say this, I will believe him; it is the truth, and truth is always right.

Sanusi punctured the balloon the North has been founded on. He talk greatly about the neglect of the girl child, early marriage of the girl child, and importantly, low education outputs. Wait, aren’t these issues true about Northern Nigeria? There are places you go to in the North, and you wonder whether you are in the third century BC. In places like Zamfara and Kebbi states, how many students, particularly, girls and women, write JAMB annually? Just a handful, at most. The literacy level in the North is awful as it is alarming. The rightly condemned concept of Educational Less Developed States, introduced into JAMB admission, is a ploy to buoy up, unduly, indigenes of the North during admission. Still, it is not uhuru.

Radicalisation of Islam, the fuel that drives the canons of Boko Haram, thrives happily on the soil where poverty grows. I have always maintained that street beggers, called almanjeri, has no place in Islam, except of course, the brand of Islam practiced in Northern Nigeria. Why is the almanjeri system not in Egypt, or other Islamic countries; it is not even in Southern Nigeria.

It’s imperative that we look beyond the Sanusi persona, and dispassionately consider the issues he raised. Why so? Because the backwardness of Northern Nigeria affects the whole country, Nigeria.