By: Shehu Bashir Esq.
Elitism in Nigeria, unlike any other country in the world, is a different brand of social stratification; it is mostly a tool for oppression and it cuts across the spectrum of egocentrism of the privileged, so called – be it the royal clan, the political class, the academic class, the business group or even the men in uniform. This position has even been more justified in recent time and no other person has voluntarily contributed to this research study than Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the former Emir of Kano.
I really don’t like to comment on the status of SLS as per his royalty and his continued appearance of same as though he is still in the subsistence, one because, I did not like the consequence of his reign and two because, being a descendant of a valued royalty myself, I felt bad about the implications as it creates further direspect for traditional institutions.
However, the truth is, SLS is covering himself with the garment of arrogance to continue to parade himself the way he is doing. SLS’s continued appearance in royal regalia as though he is still an Emir is to me a self burden of desperation, self deception on impossibility and self ridicule on what he does not have. If anything, he continues to remind himself of his failure of the past even though he had the opportunity to prevent the repeat of the bad history that had prevented his lineage from mounting the Stool until God gave him another test of opportunity. Sadly, for the second time after two generations, SLS messed it up again. No man is unworthy of a privilege than a man who thinks he is above everyone else just because he enjoys a certain privilege. Pride always comes before a fall!
I have come across two videos in the last 24 hours – (1) where the dethroned former Emir of Kano was seen gallivanting in royal regalia, arriving at a home that looks like a decorated castle parading himself as though he is still a “Royal Father” and ( 2) an occasion where a certain Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State by name Muhammad Sanni Abdullahi got a surprise attack from the former Emir for simply stating the obvious, addressing SLS as “former Emir of Kano”. The video clearly showed where Mallam Sanusi openly threatened the Chief of Staff of his job, a position the young man later lost to Sanusi’s influence on his friend, governor Nasir El-Rufai who is the man’s employer.
Addressing the second video, where the Chief of Staff addressed SLS as former Emir and SLS chastising the CoS for addressing him as so, it has been rumoured that the Chief of Staff was relieved of his post by the governor who happens to be “a good friend” of the former Emir at the instance of the former Emir. If this was truly the reason why he (the CoS) was removed, then, it is right to say that the royal power hitherto bestowed on SLS could even be more brutal with political power, if he had one.
First, let me make a clarification, a King is not so called because he has the money to build a prototype palace for himself or that he has world class designer that can “plagiarise” the King’s garb for him, the King is so called because he rules over a Kingdom with Subjects whose affairs are administratively in his care. The truth is, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, SLS, as it currently stands falls short of the basic qualification of a King and cannot by any shred of imagination assume the position of a plenipotentiary imaginarily ruling over everything in the world and nothing in the real sense of it..
With profound respect, Mallam Sanusi is not “Mai Martaba” of any Emirate and cannot continue to enjoy the paraphernalia of the title “His Royal Highness”. He can own a mansion in Lagos and recruit home Assistants to dress like palace “dongaries” and fan him all day, he can turn his Abuja personal house into a castle and flood it with royal relics, he can even wear a turban bigger than a mountain, those do not turn the castle into Kano Emirate nor qualify him as the Emir. SLS, our former Emir can continue to wear the royal regalia from now till tomorrow, from Abuja to Lagos and Lagos to United States, he is not going to have the benefit of royalty he is craving unless the story changes tomorrow. The sceptre he carries about with the assumption of authority is a mere stick without any royal authority.
In my candid opinion, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is daily justifying why he found himself in this bad situation in the first place and he is further worsening his status in the society over his flaunting of nothing in royal essence, except he is only getting cajoled by the fawning experts. It’s a poor management of emotional challenge to continue to assume leadership in a state that is not in existence. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is not getting it right and he needs help on this.
If the former Chief of Staff had addressed him as former Emir, he did so with every sense of honour. Infact, there is no better courteous manner to address him than that, except our SLS would prefer to be addressed as a “dethroned former Emir” because that is what he is.
We all know how SLS preaches humility, kindness and piety on the podium and we all know how he rebukes those in position of political authority for abuse of power, I imagine with palpitation if someone with mere “persuasive privilege” as SLS is afforded coercive political power, no doubt someone like the CoS would have been cooling off somewhere in the penitentiary.
At this point of his life, SLS has to move on from the toga of that royalty, it is not his for now and he can’t lay claim to it. There can’t be two Kings in a kingdom, Kano Emirate has a subsisting and a substantive Emir and that person is not Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, anything to the contrary is a charade and continuous display of needless, unproductive arrogance and even breaking of the law.
I am no doubt an admirer of SLS same as I am for El-Rufai but this is purely based on sapiophile. Should this imaginary status continues, appearing like a King with no designated Kingdom, our reverend SLS may soon run out of relevance.
In my submission, for anyone who might have condemned Governor Ganduje of Kano for dethroning Mallam Sanusi, we can now see how “worst” the former Emir would have been if he was in a similar political position.
I know Sanusi’s dethronement has become some sort of political contest between those who like Ganduje and those who hate him on one hand, and those who also think Sanusi’s sophistry is an arsenal against the current federal government on the other hand. This sanctimony notwithstanding, has been determining the pitching of tent for and against the dethronement, but the truth is, Sanusi is the victim here and indeed the victim of his own condescending. He can continue to allow the deceits wash his head, sing praise non-existing royalty and fool him to himself, as if he is what he was, when the game they are playing with his “recklessness” is over, he would wish he had quickly returned to the wearing of his safari suit and got a job for himself with World Bank or IMF immediately after he was officially dethroned.
If only SLS can move on with his life, drop the past by the road side and atleast join politics, it would be a good avenue for him to show more needed administrative standard he preaches and “possesses” rather than parading royal garbs and carrying empty stick all about without a staff of office.
My frank opinion.
GOD IS HERE!