For Whom the Gates Open Wide, By Wole Soyinka

These are depressing times – stemming from different factors of course – for a large sector of the nation. Insecurity, economy in a coma, a leadership in name only, having vanished into ether, permanently AWOL in a time of serial crisis. No wonder mimic and debased forms of leadership assertiveness rush in to fill the vacuum! The latest in the stakes of such power appropriation makes one wonder which is the more reactionary order: the so-called feudal institution, or the self-vaunting modernised governance, whose apex can bring the feudal to heel quite arbitrarily, without check and without seeming consequence. To rub pepper in the wound, the protagonist of that “progressive” order enjoys near-absolute immunity, thus, even when it has disgraced its status and violated its oath of office, caught literally with its pants down in open defecation, it can still pretend to act in the interest of progress, modernity and public well being. Such are the ironies raised by the purported dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi, with one stroke of a pen!

Emir Sanusi 200million naira library

I was participant, albeit on the sidelines, when a similar scenario began to unfold in my own state, Ogun some years ago. The then governor, on account of an imagined slight by one of the monarchs in his domain, was actually poised – not virtually but physically –  to sign the dethronement and banishment order on that traditional ruler. His office was invaded by some of the panicked chiefs and stalwarts of Ogun State who rushed to ward off the impending order. One of them stopped at my home after the pacification session to narrate what had transpired, and how some of them had actually gone on their knees to plead with that governor to stay action. I was furious. I knew every detail of that affair, had listened to a recording of the speech that was supposed to have given this mighty offence. It was pure piffle!

“Why did you people plead with him? Don’t you realise you were making him feel a god? You should have let him carry on, then we would see what a cataclysm he had launched on the State!”

The man, an independent businessman of absolute integrity, and one of that governor’s intimate circle, smiled and said, “No, we couldn’t do that. We are his friends. We were pleading with him to save him from himself.”

What a pity Ganduje lacked friends who could have saved him from himself! Insofar as one can acknowledge certain valued elements in traditional institutions, the man he thinks he has humiliated has demonstrated that he is one of the greatest reformers even of the feudal order. That is beyond question, a position publicly manifested in both act and pronouncements. By contrast, Ganduje’s conduct, apart from the innate travesty of justice in this recent move, is on a par with the repudiated colonial order, one that out-feudalised feudalism itself, and is synonymous with authoritarianism of the crudest temper. The record shows, in this particular instance, that it is one that embodies modernised cronyism and alienated pomp and power – never mind the cosmetic gestures such as almajiri reformation. It has proved one of the worst examples of a system that enables even the least deserving to exercise arbitrary, unmerited authority that beggars even the despotism of the most feudalistic traditional arrangements.

Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution. Unblinking, he trod on the interests of powerful beneficiaries of a worm-infested sector and, in the process, created permanent enemies. By contrast, confidence in immunity has catapulted his tormentor to the ranks of the most notorious public faces of the disorder that Sanusi strove to eradicate. Obviously, vengeance lay in wait, and he was not unaware of it. The signs were omnipresent and Sanusi acknowledged their imminence. I know this for a fact. Apart from exchanges of some mutual associates – we held, not so long ago, a phone conversation during his visit to London, just after the shrinking of his domain signaled the commencement of a systematic attrition of his status. I assured him I would shortly fulfill my long-standing promise to pay him a visit. He sounded very much aware of the impending fall of the axe of vengefulness and power primitivism. I can testify that he remained totally unfazed.

Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping. Those who wish to understand how deeply he had anticipated and explored the potential consequences of this menace should refer to his novelette, The Adulteress’ Diary, a work that exposes and satirises the hypocrisy of fundamentalist Islamic clericalism from the inside, that is, from the authoritative point of view of an Islamic scholar. This work did not endear him to hard core fundamentalist purveyors of social division, but even those opponents would have been wise to pay heed to his exposition, and its implicit warning. Then perhaps even if Boko Haram still remained inevitable, the nation would have been much better prepared for its onslaught, and those of allied malignancies like ISWAP.

Why, I am not certain, but I do have the feeling that the palace gates of the Kano emirate are not yet definitively slammed against this Islamic scholar, royal scion and seasoned economist. It is just a feeling. Closed and bared, or merely shut however, the doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. The list is long, there are comrades in impunity awaiting their day of reckoning. The files remain open, and the nation remains on the watch. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but sooner or later, they arrive.

Wole SOYINKA is  the first Black Nobel Laureate in Literature.

Emir Sanusi and the conspiracy of Northern oligarchy

His background in Islamic Studies at a leading Islamic University in Khatourm, the capital of Sudan, should have ordinarily perverted critical reasoning in him, paradoxically, the recently ‘deposed’ Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11, frantically utilized Islamic knowledge as an intellectual instrument to illuminate the dark sides of his society.

Unlike his contemporaries with the same religious conviction and socio-economic status, Sanusi chooses to liberate the minds of the oppressed through deep and logical narratives on many issues others considered as sacrilegeous; obviously, his ideology frowns at conspiracy of thoughts amongst oppressors to keep common people in perpetual economic and socio-political darkness, simply to sustain exploitation of their perceived ignorance.

Sanusi, in the post – independence Nigeria remains the only Northern elite that has ever taken objective position on the variance between Northern social philosophy and global conception of modernity and civilization, coupled with fundamental psyches for development and growth.

Unfortunately, the events of the past years, starting from his stint at the United Bank for Africa to First Bank of Nigeria and lastly in the public service as the Governor of Nigeria’s Apex Bank labelled Sanusi as a Litmus Test for Orientation and Ideology of Nigeria’s nation-state, which to a very large extent had determined where we are presently as a nation and the nature of our brand within the comity of nations.

Moving forward, systematic and painstaking analysis of the climax of Sanusi’s price for objectivity, truth and long sightedness came to play on February 17, during the 60th birthday of the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-rufai, where he courageously warned the Northern elite of impending calamity that awaits the region as a consequence for their age-long misdeamounor.

While he observed that majority of Northern elites have been beclouded with euphoria of free monies from oil of the South South, while their homes are in serious turmoil, Sanusi cautioned that,” a Nigerian leader of northern extraction had any reason to be happy given the sorry state of insecurity, education, poverty, health care, nutrition and almajiri problem in that part of the country”.

He averred that it was worrisome that the North had the largest chunk of poverty, out-of-school children and beggars in the country and called for immediate efforts to reduce the poor statistics so as to place the region at par with other parts of the country.

According to him: “If the North does not change the situation it is grappling with today, it will destroy itself. We need to get our northern youths to study harder, get the required educational qualifications to compete with Nigerians for jobs and other positions instead of relying on quota allocations. This is because the rest of the country may not wait for the north forever”.

Unfortunately for Sanusi, the rest of Northern political elite are regrettably pretentious and passive to the present realities in their zone, believing the rest of the country are not seeing and considering the negative impact of Northern retrogressive posture on advancement and stability of other regions.

It was deduced that the Northern Oligarchy considered Sanusi’s candid submission as a sacrilege against the North, saying a Northerner of his status and stature should not have spoken that level of truth, hence, the speedy gang up that eventually resulted to his gestapotic removal as the Emir of Kano, and the rest instructively became history.

Of great concern to conscious observers around the globe was the manner in which security operatives fired tear gas to disperse a crowd at the palace, as they escorted the ‘deposed’ Emir of Kano to Nasarawa State, and the speed in which the Kano State Government announced the appointment of Aminu Bayero, who was until then the Emir of Bichi, as the new Emir of Kano.

Addressing reporters on the “dethronement, deportation and banishment,” of Sanusi on Tuesday, the leader of his legal team, Abubakar Mahmoud, described the action of Kano state government as “illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.”

He said: “We call on the authorities, in particular, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of Department State Services and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to ensure the immediate release of HH Muhammadu Sanusi 11 so that he can be reunited with his family.

”We are concerned about the personal safety and security of HH Muhammadu Sanusi 11 and wish to call on all well meaning Nigerians and the International Community to bring their influence to bear to ensure that HH Muhammadu Sanusi regains his liberty immediately and to guarantee his safety and security.”

On his dethronement and banishment, Mahmoud said: “This action in our view is illegal and unconstitutional. The Kano State Emirate Council Law which was recently enacted by the Government of Kano State does not give the State Executive Council or the Governor of Kano State the powers to unilaterally remove the emir.

“The reason given in the letter of deposition of the Emir dated 9th March, 2020, was alleged ‘disrespect to lawful instructions from the authorities’. The Emir was also alleged to have ‘refused to attend official programmes and meetings organised by the Government.

“As far as we are aware, there has not been any notice of such disrespect ever given to the Emir or querry issued to him for refusal to attend official functions. He was never given any opportunity to defend himself against those charges. Section 13 of the Kano Emirates Council Law 2019 cited in the letter of deposition empowers the Governor to depose an Emir only after due inquiry and in consultation with State Council of Chiefs.

” We are not aware of such due inquiry nor are we aware that the Kano State Council of Chiefs was at any time summoned to any meeting much less discuss the removal of the Emir or give any advice to the Governor on the deposition. Muhammadu Sanusi II was the Chairman of the Council and if such meeting was summoned, he would have been aware.

“He would have informed us. In our view, the action was patently illegal and unconstitutional and a clear abuse of power.
Be that as it may, the decision to challenge the removal is solely that of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II. At this moment no such instruction has been given to us.”

He added: “We have not spoken to the Emir since yesterday but we understand they are at their destination somewhere in a remote part of Nassarawa State after driving for nearly seven hours in the night and arrived at about 2.00 am this morning. We understand the choice of location to detain HH Muhammadu Sanusi II was intended to cause maximum trauma and distress. This again is illegal and unconstitutional.

“According to instructions we received from the Emir through his Chief of Staff, we are directed to take legal action to challenge the legality of the Emirs detention and banishment. We are of the firm view that this action is illegal and unconstitutional.

“Section 35 of our constitution guarantees every citizen the right to personal liberty. The basis of the denial of personal liberty are set out clearly in this Section of the Constitution. None applies to the case of the Emir.

“The archaic practice of banishment of deposed Emirs, a colonial practice has no basis under Nigerian law or the Constitution. We are totally perplexed at the resort to this practice in present day Nigeria by its political leaders.

“The illegality of this practice was pronounced by the Nigerian Court of Appeal in Attorney General Kebbi State v. HRH Alhaji Al Mustapha Jakolo and ors 2013 LPELR 22349/CA where the Court pronounced it as illegal and unconstitutional and gross violation of the rights of the Emir.

” This is what the court said in that case: The banishment and deportation from Kebbi State by the Governor of Kebbi State….of the first respondent to Lafia in Nassarawa State and later to Obi also in Nassarawa State is most unconstitutional and illegal”, Mahmoud submitted .

Speaking further, a legal practitioner in Osun State, Adeolu Sanyaolu, said Sanusi is at liberty to press for his fundamental rights of freedom of association and expression irrespective of circumstances of his condition.

Sanyaolu expressed confidence in the sanctity of the judiciary for redress, saying one of the principles of rule of law is liberty and free will, adding that Sanusi remains a free person in the face of law.

”The development in Kano is worrisome and disturbing, it is inherently an aberration in a democratic system, where liberty and freedom are sacrosanct.

“The manner in which the deposed monarch was whisked away by security operatives was barbaric and uncivilized, such action must be tested in the competent court of law”, he submitted.

In as much as one is terribly taken aback and astonished by the body language and later the position of the presidency, which interestingly is headed by a man of Northern extraction, It is our firm belief that the extant law of the land in any circumstances supersedes every ordinance and gazette of various dimensions, as it places high premium on fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizenry, the privilege Sanusi still enjoys no matter who he might have offended.

Finally, it is pertinent for members of the National Assembly to take proactive steps towards reevaluating the political system in the face of lopsided structure that continues to draw the nation backwards to the days of colonial manipulation and give opportunities to critical minds to take front positions in decision-making mechanism.

The Governor and the Emir: A Struggle over Islamic Authority in Kano State, Nigeria

Muhammadu Sanusi II, also known as Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is one of the most famous hereditary Muslim rulers in the world today. He is also one of the most embattled. As politicians seek to decimate his authority, his predicament exemplifies broader pressures facing his peers around the world. Expected to simultaneously mediate social change and uphold “tradition,” these hereditary Muslim rulers are supposed to be above the fray of day-to-day politics – but they cannot avoid getting drawn into it.

“Since 2014, Sanusi has been the emir of Kano. The most populous state in northern Nigeria, Kano is a religious hub in the region, just as it was in the pre-colonial period.”

Since 2014, Sanusi has been the emir of Kano. The most populous state in northern Nigeria, Kano is a religious hub in the region, just as it was in the pre-colonial period. Within the hierarchy of northern Nigeria’s hereditary Muslim ruling class, the emir of Kano formally ranks third, after the Sultan of Sokoto and the Shehu of Borno. In terms of political sway and media coverage, however, the emir of Kano is sometimes more visible than those other figures – and this has been especially true with the outspoken Sanusi in the role.

Muhammadu Sanusi II

Sanusi was a controversial public figure long before becoming emir. Part of Kano’s Muslim aristocracy, he was nevertheless a student radical at Ahmadu Bello University in the 1970s. With dual training as a banker and an Islamic intellectual, he put himself into the media spotlight more than any other royal scion in northern Nigeria. Moreover, his religious worldview is markedly eclectic in the Nigerian context or indeed any context: in his writings on Islam and politics from the 2000s, one can find him citing figures ranging from the medieval Maliki jurist Khalil bin Ishaq to the Iranian philosopher-revolutionary ‘Ali Shari‘ati. During the phase of intensive “shari‘a implementation” in northern Nigeria between 2000 and 2003, Sanusi expressed a progressive vision of Islamic law’s orientation and purposes, a vision that was self-consciously out of step with the much more conservative opinions of many scholars and even many ordinary Muslims.

Sanusi was also controversial in his role as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2009-2014. Praised abroad and at home for his post-crash reforms of the banking sector, he also drew criticism from multiple sectors. Nigerian Christian pastors objected to his decision to advance Islamic banking in Nigeria. The “Occupy Nigeria” movement deplored his involvement in an abortive effort to remove fuel subsidies in 2012. And the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan (in office 2010-2015) fired Sanusi in 2014 after the leak of correspondence where Sanusi questioned Jonathan about an alleged $49 billion in missing oil revenues.

As emir, Sanusi has continued to court controversy. At a 2018 conference I attended in Kano, where protocol required Sanusi to represent both himself and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sanusi half-joked that “anything I say that is not controversial comes from the Sultan, but anything I say that is controversial comes from me.” Departing from most of his peers’ practice of confining their public remarks to platitudes, Sanusi weighs in on sensitive questions of economic management while also calling for wide-ranging social change on issues such as girls’ education. Sanusi speaks to multiple audiences simultaneously, seemingly well aware that what offends some of his fellow Nigerians may please others while also continuing to attract Western media attention.

Sanusi is reinventing the role of emir, and part of that reinvention involves being a relentless political and cultural commentator. Trumpeters in traditional garb still herald his arrival to public events, and attendants still lift their flowing robes to screen him from public view when he sits down and stands up – but when he speaks it is as a blend of development economist, modernist Islamic intellectual, and hereditary aristocrat. This combination has won him both friends and enemies among Nigeria’s politicians.

The Kano Emirate as Political Football

The very kind of politics that today threatens Sanusi’s power is also the kind of politics that brought him to the throne. Since colonial times, succession to the emirates has been regulated by political authorities, who also limit the scope of emirs’ power. From the British authorities’ removal of the Emir of Zaria in 1902 to military dictator Sani Abacha’s sacking of the Sultan of Sokoto in 1996, Nigeria’s rulers have brazenly intervened to depose or elevate hereditary rulers when they felt political necessity demanded it. And just as the emirs were pillars of British “Indirect Rule,” so too in postcolonial times have they been vital supports for Nigerian politicians.

Power does not just run in one direction. Kano’s Governor Abubakar Rimi learned this in 1981 when he sought to restrict the power of then-Emir Ado Bayero (in office 1963-2014) by creating new emirates. Rimi’s project was greeted with protests, and in 1983, Rimi’s successor reversed the order.

But often, it is the politicians who have the upper hand over the emirs. This relationship means that succession questions sometimes turn on the politics of the moment. Sanusi reportedly desired the emirate his entire life, in part because his grandfather, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi I, had been deposed by the northern politician Ahmadu Bello in 1963 in favor of Ado Bayero, the elder Sanusi’s younger brother. But it took special circumstances for Sanusi II to succeed his great uncle.

When Ado Bayero died in 2014, Kano’s elected governor was Dr. RabiuMusa Kwankwaso, who had recently moved from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) into the opposition coalition the All Progressives Congress (APC). Kwankwaso had a long-running conflict with the emir; some of Kwankwaso’s supporters accused Bayero of favoring Kwankwaso’s rival Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. The Kwankwaso-Shekarau rivalry had shaped Kano State politics since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999; Kwankwaso served one term as governor (1999-2003), only to be defeated by Shekarau (in office 2003-2011) and then mount a comeback to win a second term (2011-2015).

Bayero’s June 2014 death, then, came at a moment almost perfectly suited to Sanusi’s advantage: for Governor Kwankwaso, who had a major say in choosing the next emir, Sanusi offered a tool for sidelining Bayero’s direct descendants and gaining long-sought influence over the emirate, as well as a means of undermining then-President Jonathan by elevating one of Jonathan’s key adversaries. Within a period of just four months in 2014, Sanusi went from being fired and rebuked by the president over the missing oil revenues controversy to being enthroned as one of the most prominent symbols of Islamic authority in Nigeria. For Kwankwaso and the APC, with a crucial presidential election approaching in February 2015 (it was later postponed to March), the succession was a golden opportunity to solidify influence over Kano – and the more than one million votes the state represented. Bayero’s sons and their supporters protested Sanusi’s selection, but with Kwankwaso’s backing he prevailed.

The politicization of succession issues has now come back to haunt Sanusi. The 2015 election brought triumph for the APC at the presidential level and in many governorships. At first, the outcome was also a personal triumph for Kwankwaso: term-limited as governor, he won election to the Senate and installed his hand-picked successor, Dr. AbdullahiUmarGanduje, as the new governor. As with so many such relationships, though, Kwankwaso and Ganduje fell out. This was partly because the pull of Kwankwaso’s personal presidential ambitions led him to switch from the APC back to the PDP in the lead-up to the 2019 elections, while Ganduje remained in the APC camp. These political rivalries surrounding the governorship had ramifications for Sanusi, who found himself in conflict with Ganduje.

The conflict entered a new stage with the hard-fought 2019 gubernatorial contest in Kano. With Ganduje no longer allied with Kwankwaso, Ganduje’s re-election bid faced substantial obstacles – including, in the eyes of Ganduje’s camp, Sanusi. Ganduje’s team came to feel that Sanusi had thrown his full weight behind the Kwankwaso-backed PDP candidate Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf (who is also Kwankwaso’s son-in-law). After the initial vote on March 9, Yusuf took a slight lead, but Ganduje narrowly won a re-run election held March 23. One of the re-elected governor’s first targets was Sanusi.

Ganduje’s Bid to Shrink Sanusi’s Power

On May 8, Ganduje signed into law a bill creating four new emirates in Kano State. The new law shrinks Sanusi’s territory from the entirety of the state – forty-four Local Government Areas (LGAs) – to just ten LGAs. The law places some of the new emirs on essentially the same level of prestige as Sanusi, giving ten LGAs to Rano Emirate, nine to Bichi, eight to Gaya, and seven to Karaye; all of these emirs, moreover, are designated as “first class,” just like Sanusi.

The new emir of Bichi, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a particular rival to Sanusi in that he is one of the sons of Sanusi’s predecessor Ado Bayero. It was his older brother, Sanusi Lamido Ado Bayero, who was seen as the foremost alternative to Sanusi amid the succession struggle in 2014 – but having any member of the Bayero family take over a major chunk of Kano Emirate is clearly a challenge to Sanusi.

“Sanusi’s supporters responded by taking the governor, along with the Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly and the Kano State Attorney General, to court in an effort to block the division of Sanusi’s territory. “

Sanusi’s supporters responded by taking the governor, along with the Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly and the Kano State Attorney General, to court in an effort to block the division of Sanusi’s territory. In mid-June, a Kano High Court dismissed the suit, but another court judgment soon followed, ruling that the new emirs could not be enthroned. Ganduje appointed the new emirs anyway. The conflict is less heated now than it was in June, but the situation remains legally ambiguous. The Durbar, the emir’s procession on horseback held to commemorate special events (in this case the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha), was an occasion that put each figure’s authority to the test: Ganduje ordered Kano’s District Heads not to attend Sanusi’s Durbar, but several of them very publicly disobeyed.

Meanwhile, in early June, Ganduje’s team mounted another type of assault on Sanusi’s power: accusations of corruption. It should be noted in Nigeria as in various other countries, anti-corruption campaigns can be both a response to massive popular demand and a political weapon. That is, many Nigerians view endemic corruption as the über-problem of their country, a cancer at the center of Nigerian politics and society. Yet anti-corruption carries a politics of its own, and it can often be difficult to separate out what is genuine from what is tactical when Nigerian politicians mobilize anti-corruption drives. Sanusi’s career, again, symbolizes this tension: when his queries to the Jonathan administration about unaccounted-for oil revenues become public in 2013, some Nigerians hailed him as a truth-teller while others labeled him an ambitious hack.

Now, Sanusi is the target of a corruption probe: the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission alleges that under Sanusi, the Kano State Emirate Council misspent as much as 3.4 billion Naira, including nearly two billion on “seemingly personal expenditures.” The Commission recommended that Sanusi be suspended as emir. Some dynamics of the investigation have spilled into public view, including leaked expenditure documents from the Emirate Council. Ganduje, it should be said, has been dogged by serious corruption scandals of his own; in October 2018, leaked videos appeared to show him personally receiving cash bribes from contractors.

Sanusi and Ganduje are in a multi-front war that involves state power, media narratives, and the hearts and minds of ordinary subjects. The conflict between Ganduje and Sanusi has repercussions that extend well beyond Kano. The battle has even drawn in President Muhammadu Buhari, who is reportedly unhappy at the feud. Other influential northern governors and businessmen, including Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, have sought to make peace between Ganduje and Sanusi; Dangote brokered a reconciliation of sorts at the end of Ramadan in early June. But the issues are not so easily resolved: indeed, Ganduje has said that full reconciliation depends on Sanusi withdrawing his legal suits, accepting the new emirs, and publicly apologizing to the governor and the people of Kano. Implicit in Ganduje’s message to Sanusi is the idea that the corruption charges could be withdrawn if Sanusi acquiesces to the subdivision of his territory.

“Ganduje’s actions may have already earned him the displeasure of other key Muslim leaders in the state and beyond. In early May, four prominent Salafi scholars – including Mallam Aminu Daurawa, Commander-General of the Kano State Hisbah Board – resigned from Ganduje’s government. “

Ganduje’s actions may have already earned him the displeasure of other key Muslim leaders in the state and beyond. In early May, four prominent Salafi scholars – including Mallam Aminu Daurawa, Commander-General of the Kano State Hisbah Board – resigned from Ganduje’s government. The scholars did not explicitly state whether they were resigning over the governor’s treatment of Sanusi, but their departures do not seem coincidental. Sanusi is, as mentioned above, an eclectic Islamic thinker who has had his own clashes with the Salafis; at the same time, however, Salafi clerics and others have many reasons to be unenthusiastic about efforts by politicians to break the authority of someone like Sanusi. Ganduje may find himself losing allies in Kano and awakening nervousness among powerful hereditary rulers elsewhere, up to and including the Sultan of Sokoto. So far, the Sultan has not weighed in publicly on the Ganduje-Sanusi conflict, but as one Nigerian intellectual has argued, the Sultan and other major northern Nigerian emirs must be aware of the implications the Kano situation has for their own authority:

If this could succeed now, tomorrow the governor of Katsina may wake up and say “I have given Mani an emirate status or Funtua an emirate status”. Or the Governor of Zamfara may wake up and say “I have given Gumi an emirate status, Anka an Emirate status” or the Governor of Sokoto may wake up and say “because I come from Tambuwal, I give Tambuwal an emirate status”. This means everything is bastardized and the moment you abuse the tradition and culture of people, what you are doing is that you are disregarding the integrity of that institution. You are throwing dust into their face.

The question, then, is whether there is enough force of popular sentiment to compel Ganduje, over the long term, to reverse not just the corruption probe but also the breakup of the Kano Emirate. On the one hand, for many people the emirs are precious symbols of “the tradition and culture of people.” On the other hand, recent decades have seen a marked decline in respect for emirs, precisely because some northerners have come to see them as the leashed pets of politicians rather than as the venerable inheritors of pre-colonial Islamic authority.

Many observers see in the Ganduje-Sanusi conflict a sequel to the above-mentioned conflict between Governor Rimi and Emir Ado Bayero in the 1980s; such observers expect that in the long run, Sanusi will triumph. But if Sanusi’s fate does turn out to be different than Ado Bayero’s, it really will be a sign that times have changed.


The challenge to Sanusi’s power raises broader questions about the trajectory of Muslim authority around the world. For many Muslim leaders today as in the past, authority is partly inherited: not just northern Nigerian emirs, but also a broad spectrum of kings and princes, Sufi shaykhs, major imams, and even leading intellectuals descend from families with institutionalized religious charisma. Likewise, for many Muslim leaders today, authority partly rests on systems of symbols: from clothing to the trappings of office to the very identification of the individual with a broader tradition (in this case, the identification of northern Nigeria’s emirs with the region’s Islamic past and present), the symbols represent a source of power – but also a source of vulnerability. What happens when politicians assert explicit control over these Muslim leaders? Does it challenge, even cheapen, their authority to a point of no return? And what does it mean when the politicians themselves take on the mantle of Muslim authority? Ganduje, after all, is sometimes referred to by supporters and in official government statements as “Khadimul Islam” – the “servant of Islam.”

“What happens when politicians assert explicit control over these Muslim leaders? Does it challenge, even cheapen, their authority to a point of no return? And what does it mean when the politicians themselves take on the mantle of Muslim authority? “

Sanusi’s multi-faceted dilemma also shows that these conflicts are not so simple as “tradition” versus “modernity.” Sanusi has attempted to reinvent the role of emir from the inside, blending his current office with his prior roles as economic policymaker and modernist Islamic intellectual. In doing so, however, he has undercut some of his own potential bases of support: some Sufis, long a pillar of support for Kano’s emirs and for Nigerian Muslim rulers more broadly, suspect that Sanusi is not at all one of them; some other emirs balk at the way Sanusi refuses to “stay in his lane”; and his regular media appearances and public interventions make it hard for him to claim to be above the fray of partisan politics. Yet his more circumspect and self-consciously traditionalist peers among the emirate class are also frequently faulted for their own aloofness from current events and their seeming lack of ideas about how to address Nigeria’s deep-seated challenges. In a sense, the emirs are damned if they become outspoken political actors and damned if they don’t.

Alexander Thurston is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. His publications include Salafism in Nigeria: Islam, Preaching and Politics and Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement.

Finding Stability as a Legal Immigrant | By Tobe Nneji [GOOD READ]

If you are a legal migrant to Canada or America, here’s a priority list that will help you have a handle on your affairs in 4 – 6 years.

  • 1. Get your first job within 3-6 months. It doesn’t matter what type of work it is. Chances are that you will be underemployed in a low skill labor intensive job. That’s absolutely ok. Do it and save — A LOT.
  • 2. Plan to work that 1st job for at least 3-6 months. In that time, focus on finding the high paying industry into which you can transfer your skills and enter into. Spend time upskilling yourself.
  • 3. In 12-15 months from your entry, plan to have a good job (good jobs are anything from 50k and above per annum).
    In this time, do your best to keep your credit card use very low and save. If you buy a car, buy a used car and have a car note that’s less than $200 per month. The 2nd part of number 3 is important. This is how you grow your credit and get yourself ready for your 2nd/3rd year as a migrant. Keep reading. You will see why your 2nd/3rd year are important
  • 4. Plan to stay at your good job for at least 1 year. While there, take advantage of 401k matching, life insurance, any rewards (there might be monetary rewards for being smoke free, maintaining healthy BMI etc), and health savings accounts. Also make it a point to not pay attention to issues fueled by emotion. You are there to work and earn the highest possible for your job level.
    Work. Work hard and work smart.
    If there are bonuses and performance rewards to be earned, figure out how to earn them regularly.
  • 5. Again, keep your credit card use low. You might be tempted to splurge because your paycheck is now juicey (especially if you convert to the currency of your home country) but please don’t. Use your credit cards often and pay it off by every due date. Never fail.
  • 6. 18 – 30 months after your entry, buy a house. The good credit behavior you’ve had over the last year+ means your credit score is probably around 690+. Add that to your 6month+ work history and your filed tax return, and chances are that you will qualify for a mortgage.
  • 7. Stay in that house for up to a year. You can choose to rent it or sell it after or you can keep living there if you like it. But live there for at least 1 year.
    Let me tell you why.
  • – the interest you pay on the house is a tax deductible. After one year of paying your mortgage, you will be pleasantly surprised by the lump sum you get back when you file your taxes. It might make you burst out in praise and worship. No jokes. – since it’s your first home and you (hopefully) took advantage of 1st time buyer perks, you probably didn’t pit down a huge sum to purchase.
    After 1 year, you can refinance and pull out some lump sum from the house (please research this well and consider current mortgage rates) – you’ve done the required 1 year of residency in your home. You can now rent it out for slightly more than your monthly payment and have an alternate source of cash flow – depending on the size and type of house you bought, you could have actually been earning income with it by renting out a room or AirBnB through the 1 year of required residency.
    That’s a thread for another day.
    For now, we’ve addressed the 1 year of residency I recommended
  • Oh, by the way, for most loans, the 1 year of residency is required. Yes, there is allowance for ‘life to happen’ but typically, you sign that you ‘intend’ to have the property as primary residence for at least 1 year. It’s usually part of the condition for qualifying for a loan.
  • 8. Remember the tax return I mentioned? The one that might make you sing praise and worship? Good.
    Take that money and put it towards your next house.
    Depending on your bank, you might qualify for low down-payment loan programs. Even if you can’t get a low down payment option, remember your 401k? The one you took company match advantages on? You can pull money from it (please research this well and make sure it works for your situation. There are fees and taxes involved)
  • 9. Within 40-45 months of entry, buy your 2nd home. If you like, you can also change jobs, get a promotion, start a business…just find a way to increase your income. Do I need to tell you about the tax return you will get after deducting the interest paid on two houses?
  • 10. After 6-12 months of owning your 2nd home, you can now decide to buy a nicer car, travel more, splurge more…whatever you like.
    But still, be sensible.It’s very easy to go from being house-wealth smart to being house poor.
  • End note:
    We all have different paths to stability and wealth. If you chose to use this steady property method, in 6 years you should be owner of 3-4 houses. If you did it smart, all houses would be paying for themselves and providing cashflow.

    Cheers to a stable you.

Written By Tobe Nneji

Amotekun : Son of a thousand fathers?

ASHE Foundation has raised concerns over the continued bastardization of Original African traditional identity and the divisiveness of followers of Abrahamic dogma. In response to Prof Akintola of Muric statement that Amotekun is a Christian militia and some Christians quoting Jeremiah, Prince Justice Faloye, President ASHE raised doubts about whether Abrahamic faiths can ever allow Black Africans to unite and rise.

The cultural miseducation and disorientation of the Black Race prevents us from seeing things from our own unique viewpoint, which we often denigrate due to our imbued racial inferiority complex. Despite the loss of lives and alleged ethnic cleansing, it is sad to see a Yoruba tar a security unit to complement the efforts of the police, as Christian militia. Are Yoruba lives to be discounted on foreign dogma?

We have always heard of the Lion of Judah, why does the Leopard, the cultural totem of South and Middlebelt, seen in all Yoruba, Igbo, Igala etc palaces be dragged into a fight between the sons of Abraham, if not racial inferiority complex and cultural disorientation. With all due respect to Jews, the Leopards referenced in Jeremiah 5:6 obviously didn’t do their job if Israel ended up being ravaged and destroyed twice in the last 3,000 years of their 6,000yrs existence.

Are we not jinxing ourselves comparing the African Leopard, the totem of Original African culture that has survived for at least 30,000yrs, despite the recent trans-Atlantic slavery and several wars? In just a few wars, all Jews were carted away in slavery to present day Iraq compared to Yorubas and Igbos ravaged by slavery for 350yrs but still remain the most populated and prosperous lands in Black Africa. The Arabs are not better with war and poverty.

Witnessing the masses naturally warm up to Amotekun, the totem of Original African culture, it is obvious previous culturally divisiveness is driven by self-serving elites. Recent scientific studies based on genetic and cultural anthropology have shown that Southern and Middlebelt Nigeria is the origin of humanity and where the first civilization evolved, known as Ifa-Afa-Iha-Eha-Fa, but our elites continue to sell us short to Abrahamic power centers that made and pay them. Because of what they want to eat, they misrepresent our identity and confuse our collective aspirations.

Despite the clear example of how Oyo, Yorubas frontier empire, was ravaged by the same Afro-Asiatic marauders, is in the process of being repeated, Prof Akintola won’t mind the death and ethnic cleansing of his people to serve outside interests, probably for the price of being made the Grand Kadi. When would we stop these defeatist attacks on our collective origins, identities, linkages and aspirations by psuedo elites created by outside interests.

Like in the movie, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, when Tuco the Mexican cowboy said the famous line, “a son of a thousand fathers.. . as one bastard goes out and another one comes in”, we also have those engaged in Eurocentric distractions on whether Amotekun is Cheetah, Lion or Leopard, when the Leopard is the only one out of the Panthera family Indigenous to Southern Yoruba Rainforests. The Cheetahs natural habitat is the savanna grasslands.

For crying out loud, why do we need to see and justify ourselves through outside reflections, instead of seeing that regardless of the European definition, this is the same animal used as the cultural totem of Igbos, Igalas and other members of the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic family that spreads from Gambia to South Africa. The cultural disorientation that prevents them from using simple commonsense and eyes to help them make the right connection, also extends to the ignorance that, not only are they continuum of dialects, but are the co-creators of the world’s first civilization, knowledge and spirituality.

The divisive Miseducation starts from the fact that there is nowhere in the world where tribes jump over each other and migrate several thousands of miles to settle where they are not related to their neighbors. The Germans separated from the Russians next door, while the English, Dutch and Danes separated from the Germans. The Latinos also diverged from the same Indo-European ethnolinguistic family to form the Italians, French, Portuguese and Spanish. A mere continuum of dialects is how the world spread, but African pseudo-intellectuals and historians continue the divisive narrative of Yoruba ‘Waka alone’ from Mecca, Igbo from Jerusalem, Jukun from Yemen, all totally rubbished by DNA and linguistic evidence that reflects a continuum like a sea of humans.

They promote inferior intellectual foundations based on one way linear thinking to replace the Original African dualistic complimentarity –a zombie thinking instead of circular thinking of Ejiogbe in Ifa. Under their noses, to create computer technology foreigners adopted the electromagnetic energy of Ifa-Afa-Iha-Eha-Fa derived from the combination of 16 Odus by 16 Odus to make 256 pulses. The same Original African Information retrieval system that our pseudo-African intellectuals had discarded because its operator Esu had been wrongly equated to the devil. However, just like science has proven us right on our Southern Nigeria origins and linkages, it also supports our moral foundations that didn’t accept the existence of a standalone evil figure called devil.

Science proves that negative and positive can’t be separated, as the smallest indivisible particle the Atom has both negative (electrons) and positive (protons). This backs Original Africans belief system that in everything and in God, there is good and bad, positive and negative especially since he is Almighty. But, just like we still witness with Prof of Islam Akintola misrepresenting Original African culture, Reverend Ajayi Crowther wrongly equated Esu to the Devil, and plunged us into the most corrupt phase of our existence as African Abrahamists shunned their natural laws of retributive justice. Crowther not only wrote the Yoruba Bible, but translated Igbo and Igala languages that institutionalized the process of our cultural miseducation by imperialists.

These servants of our conquerors turn our proud history, science and identity upside down and prevent unity that could inspire us to freedom, peace and global racial parity. If you don’t know yourself and family how do you strike alliances that can fight for the survival of your collective. It is all about the psuedo elites and their family and hangers on. As Fela sang, the Oyibos and Arabs will find a person without pedigree or dignity and empower them with money and titles, and then made our intellectual and political leaders.

However despite the theft and bastardization of Original African culture, like the story whereby to determine the true mother of a stolen but found heir apparent prince, by telling the kings wives to cook a special meal and whoever cooks a meal that naturally attracts the prince was his mother, the people have taken to Amotekun like a fish to water.

Original African culture being the first and fullest allows all other latter day religions because it is the father of all. This openness continues to be abused like the proverbial visitor who we invite to join us at a meal but holds our hand to prevent us eating. It is time to put borrowed religions and dogma aside and fight for the survival and development of the Original African cultural, political and economic sphere.

We must infuse certain facts into our collective consciousness. First, there are only two cultural spheres in Nigeria – Original Africans (Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Igala, Kwararafa/Middlebelt) and Afroasians (Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri, Amhara etc). Second, Original Africans are the most blessed people, rather than the arid lands of the Middle East, we are the origin of humanity, the true Eden where we pick wild Yams the largest source of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and palm oil for free. The 700 million strong Niger Congo ethnolinguistic family is the oldest of the full statuted modern man, with Yoruba proven to have separated from Pygmies 87,000 years ago compared to the White and Abrahamic races.

Yes, we might currently be the most deprived and disenfranchised race at this point in time, but remember that out of the 12,000 years of human civilization, we were first among equals for 8,000yrs until 2,000BC when we began losing to White Abrahamic bearers of Ogun weapons. They have been on ascendancy for 4,000 yrs, reaching the Black heartland of Nigeria over the last 1000yrs. Now, in 2000AD starting from our 1999 return to democracy, it is time to wake up and reclaim our ocal, national and global ascendancy and parity. The natural laws of precession predict that Yoruba/Igbos will lead Original African leopards into 2000yrs of global cultural and economic justice and prosperity. So, with the previous 8,000yrs of global Black ascendancy and the next 2000yrs, making 10000yrs in total compared to the 4,000yrs of Eurasiatic domination, Original Africans don’t need to adopt, copy or confuse their naturalist Original African Leopard identity for foreign dogma.

Written by Audmedia