By Dele Sobowale
“I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their character, and my enemies for their good intellect. A man cannot be too careful in his choice of enemies” – Oscar Wilde, VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, P 48.
This article could have been titled, THE LIARS, THE POLITICIAN AND THE PRESIDENT, and it will be just as appropriate. But, I think it is better to focus on the man who will suffer the consequences of his action.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, a holder of a doctorate degree, has just confirmed that a person can pass through various institutions in the world and gather all sorts of certificates without the schools and universities passing through him. Ganduje’s barbaric treatment of the former (?) Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has left millions of people worldwide wondering about his judgment. It beats the imagination how he assumed that he could get away with that action. Was the Kano Attorney-General consulted? If Ibrahim Muktar approved of the measure, then it is time to get a new lawyer. Ganduje’s immunity ends on May 29, 2020. For a man of his age and presumed intelligence, he has assigned for himself the awful task of always watching his back for the rest of his life.
Certainly, if a governor sympathetic to Sanusi should be elected in future, then at least three people are imperilled – Ganduje, Muktar and the new Emir. What stops a new government from repealing the law relied upon to perpetrate this travesty of justice and to order Sanusi to be returned to office? For that matter, what will happen if a court decides that Sanusi was not constitutionally removed and should be reinstated? That would constitute a well-deserved slap in the face for Ganuje.
There is no doubt about it; the governor has won the first round of a tournament which promises to last several rounds. It might even extend to the next generation of Gandujes and Sanusis – like Montagu and Capulet families in ‘ROMEO and JULIET’. Both of them have kids old enough to have been eye-witnesses to this assault on the traditional institution. Already, with Sanusi let loose by the courts, it is certain that it is the governor who will now begin to feel the heat. Sanusi’s army of tag-team partners, including me, will ensure the he pays a heavy price for his action. This is not because Sanusi is my friend (as a matter of fact I don’t particularly like him), but because I hate abuse of power by whoever it is exercised. I rise to the defence of the victim of outrageous conduct irrespective of who is the one perpetrating it.
Since there are several cases in court regarding the power tussle in Kano, it will not be proper to comment on the substance of those cases. Rather, I would like to examine the role of the Federal Government in the matter.
“When faith is lost, when honour dies, the man is dead” – John G Whittier, 1807-1892, VBQ, p 94.
There are lots of people in Abuja who acted like they do have conscience on this matter. Some, during their days as practising journalists, were our friends. We respected them and we actually thought they believed in upholding the truth at all times. Some of their predecessors in office threw honour into the dust bin and quickly went to serve the devil. Candidates who campaigned against large presidential fleet of aircraft entered office and keep ten planes – one for their daughter to use as she pleases.
Thus, it was not surprising when one of the President’s loudspeakers was asked if the Presidency had a hand in the monkey business, and he promptly swore by Allah that Buhari had no hand in it. You can see what I mean by lack of conscience and adherence to truth. Surely, the worst Ganduje could have done on his own was to ask Sanusi to vacate the palace. Thereafter, the deposed Emir who, in his parting statement, admitted that Allah had placed him on the throne and Allah had removed him, would have called for a private jet to convey his family to Abuja or Lagos. And he actually did. But, the Hearts of Darkness were alive in Kano and Abuja.
Sanusi deposed, was a private citizen. He needed no police, DSS and other security outfits to escort him home. He certainly could not have requested for them. But, there they were. Who ordered them to the palace, not to take Sanusi where he freely wanted to go, but to officially kidnap him, like common hoodlums, and take him to Loko, Nasarawa State and hold him hostage?
Buhari’s loudspeaker must have a lot of contempt for Nigerians. He must think we are stupid to expect Nigerians to believe that the Inspector General of Police, IGP, the Director General, DG, of the Department of State Service, DSS, as well as the heads of the other security services, were not aware that several men from their respective services had left their duty posts and conspired to seize Sanusi by force, take him to Loko and hold him there. Pray, what do kidnappers and bandits do other than to hold innocent Nigerians against their wishes? With the atrocities committed and the news of it on television, the IGP, the DG-DSS and the other DGs were still not aware that their men were on that satanic errand. If they did not authorise it, why did they not call back their people until a court of law ordered Sanusi’s release? So, despite all the lies, it is clear that they approved the operation.
THE PRESIDENTIAL CONNECTION
“Integrity is not a 99 per cent thing; it is a hundred per cent thing” – American University Football Coach.
One of the most foolhardy exploits I ever engaged in during my more than 30 years of writing columns for VANGUARD occurred in October 2014 when I wrote an article titled, COMPARING BUHARI WITH JONATHAN: IROKO VERSUS ROTTEN WOOD – 1. It was so hot that only the fact that Uncle Sam does not interfere in editorial matters that got part 1 published. Let me take this opportunity to express gratitude as well as unreserved apology to former President Jonathan who demonstrated his strong belief in democratic norms. Virtually all my friends who are regular readers of VANGUARD thought I had over-stepped my bounds that time. They expected my arrest and detention any time. My wife was scared to death and she advised me to run away. I did not run and to the everlasting glory of Jonathan, I was not harassed by anyone. I cannot thank him enough. He might not read this article, but anybody close to him who reads it should convey my message. I sincerely apologise. Time and events have opened my eyes to the worst sort of hypocrisy parading as integrity and virtue. I have since learnt anew that indeed “Hypocrisy is the homage paid by vice to virtue” – De La Rochefoucauld, 1615-1680, VBQ p 96). Never again will I trust a soldier-politician.
But it was not only Jonathan that I was ready to wage war against on behalf of Buhari. I took on my colleagues in the media – all the big names who were against Buhari. Below is the opening salvo to what was an all out attack against Buhari’s opponents. Never in my adult life have I been so devoted to anyone except Obong Victor Attah. Never have I been so disappointed that I wasted a great deal of goodwill among my colleagues on Buhari – who has turned out not a lot better and indeed is a lot worse than Jonathan in many respects.
“When an Area Boy finds himself confronting several adversaries, at once, he steels himself for battle by announcing to his opponents, ‘E po to [you are too few for me]’. So, to Professors Abidemi, Adelakun, Akinnaso, Olukotun of the PUNCH, and our own Femi Aribisala, I declare ‘you are too few’ for this battle.
“Comparing Buhari with Jonathan is like comparing solid ‘Iroko’ with rotten wood. For starters, every carver knows that nobody can make a masterpiece out of rotten wood.
“And Jonathan’s government is rotten from the head down. So anybody canvassing for a continuation of this government should be regarded as an accessory to the grand larceny going on now in the name of governance.
“To the readers, I said they are too few because when reading their articles, one can notice that they are virtually writing out of the same set of notes – packed full with their opinions, half truths, some falsehood and some venom.
“The bile belongs to Femi Aribisala, the VANGUARD columnist, who, like Doyin Okupe, must be operating with a dictionary compiled by the devil – when writing about Buhari, Tinubu and APC.
“Let me assure Femi that we also have a dictionary at UniJankara, full of hotter words. So nobody should be under the impression that he owns a monopoly of such words.”
Abidemi, Adelakun, Akinnaso, Olukotun, Aribisala – these were columnists for whom I have the utmost regard and read with delight. And here I was crossing swords with the gentlemen and lady on account of Buhari.
That was how much faith I had in the man. His first set of 20 appointments in 2015, lopsided towards the North and Daura, was like a crack on the skull with a hammer for me. What has been told about his alleged involvement in the Emir of Kano saga has added to the bigotry and ethnicity and pretensions he has exhibited since then.
As I read what his loudspeaker said, when the event first happened, and before more information reached us, I instinctively knew lies were being told again. How could an ordinary citizen, not to talk of, granted a deposed Emir, be kidnapped by the police and DSS, taken away on Nigerian Air Force plane without the President knowing about it? Obviously, if “there is a pleasure in being mad which only mad man know” (Saul Bellow, VBQ, p 147), then there must also be a joy in lying which only officials of the FGN-2020 know.
A friend recently asked me what advice I will give Buhari if he asks me for one. My reply was short and simple. I won’t give him any because “washing a donkey’s head is a waste of water.” (VBQ p 270).
P.S. North is going to blazes and APC is going to hell under him. Is that the leader we need in the age of coronavirus?
NOTE: Part 2 of THE NORTH HAS DESTROYED ITSELF continues next week. This is breaking news, as they announce on television.