By Jide Ajani
In the last 72 hours since his suspension as Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, he has been speaking to friends, his lawyers, close family members as well as journalists both in the print and electronic media but nothing has been able to capture the essence of his outrage and disgust at the turn of events.
Here, painstakingly, Sunday Vanguard brings you a near-comprehensive response by Sanusi Lamido, the man who holds the traditional title of Dan Majen Kano – mind you, the title places him on the 17th rung on the hierarchical ladder in Kano Emirate (reports have it that the title dates back to the 16th Century (1509), “when the then Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Kisoki, appointed the first Dan Maje, that is, Dan Maje Ummaru.”
According to the reports, “This title continued to exist up to the time Kano fell under the authority of colonialists after its invasion and from that time to date, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is the 10th Dan Maje of Kano. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s predecessors from 1920 to date include: Zakari Dan Sarkin Kano Abbas, Shehu Ahmad, Ahmed Gwadabe Dan Sarkin Kano Alu, Mahmud Bayero, Muntari Zakari, Sayyadi Mahmud, Aminu Ado Bayero, Tijjani Abubakar, Yusuf Ibrahim and now Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.”
This explanation is with a view to relating the importance of Sanusi’s title to the Emirate in the light of the caustic response it issued on the matter, describing the action of President Goodluck Jonathan as that of a tribal jingoist.
Interrogating the essence of the action of President Jonathan, the discovery, especially in the context of the preponderant vituperation against it, suggests only one thing: Flight of wisdom. This elicits the question: How does Mr. President get his counsel? And those who counsel him, what do they run on? Satisfying the purposes of eye-service (which is being said to be better than no-service), those who have found nothing wrong with the action of Jonathan are the same people who first said there was never a thing like zoning in the ruling PDP; that the President never attended any meeting where zoning was discussed and agreed; that the rest of the country can go-to-hell in the run up to the 2011 general elections; and that Mr. President is the best human yet created by God.
The poor thinking may have resulted in the seemingly unintended (which might actually be intended) danger of insinuating President Jonathan into their native, uncoordinated and mundane view of the consequences of removing CBN Governor from office. It is this same group of people who do more harm to Mr. President than the good they profess to do. And which is why “Mr. President, drive them away before they deceive you to the gallows”. Except, of course, if Mr. President is in dire need of people who would continue to deceive him and whittle his sense of proportion and appreciation, especially as it concerns serious, critical issues of nation importance.
Let no one be deceived on this matter of Sanusi’s removal, the odds are stacked against Aso Rock.
You shudder to wonder why President Jonathan cannot work the Senate and get two third majority to support his action. If it was truly altruistic, getting the Senate to buy into that removal would have satisfied the intendment of Sections 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the CBN Act.
Mind you, the provision of the 1999 Constitution, which states that such persons as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, cannot be removed from office without the approval of the Senate, was ignored when Prof. Maurice Iwu was forced to proceed on leave.
Because Nigeria remains a very primitive country – forget about the grandstanding and the deceptive accoutrements of modernization – where thinking and actions are determined by drivers that are not codified but which, most times, are whimsical, the whole episode once again provides a pole on which opponents and supporters of this administration would hoist their display of antagonism and loyalty, respectively (even when they are not making sense).
So, what, really, are the issues?
Firstly, Sanusi adopted the mentality of a transport owner who simply calculates returns per day of N10,000 and concludes that, at the end of a 31-day month, he would have N310,000, and, therefore, went to town claiming that $49.8billion dollars was missing from the coffers of the NNPC – he did not factor in the daily vicissitudes of commercial bus operations . The same Sanusi later admitted with the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the missing fund is far less than that. Whereas the NNPC headship appeared to be at pains to act out a convincing script on records and its finances (without prejudice to some funds that are lost as a result of no fault of theirs), the Senate is already investigating the matter.
Just some three months ago, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of the House of Representatives, made a damning remark on the attitude of President Jonathan and how he appears to be suggesting that corruption was not a crime. The investigation by the Senate was already creating the perception that, whereas Sanusi may have been playing the role of a whistle blower with largely exaggerated figures, something was amiss.
At that point, any action taken against such a whistle blower (even if he is the Devil himself) only goes to suggest that the Presidency is attempting to hide something. So, who advised Jonathan? Even Okonjo-Iweala, were she to be at the World Bank, what sort of reaction would she have given regarding this issue? Make no mistake, if Sanusi has run foul of the law, due process should be employed in dealing with him rather than this resort to a shambolic approach which has all the more helped in laundering his image.
In the following pages, you will read what Sanusi Lamido has been saying in the last 72hours. These are the words of the suspended CBN Governor packaged for you so you can understand the man.
…Sanusi grants a tell-it-all interview to be published in Sunday Vanguard. Don’t miss it.