• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Sanusi: The Good Samaritan in El-Rufai

El-Rufai-Sanusi

The Holy Book, The Bible, says: “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Conversely, there are times when it becomes very difficult for people to identify openly and freely with those they had regarded as friends in peace time. And “when a corpse begins to emit foul odour, friends disappear,” says an African adage.

It is easy to see a corollary of all these in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which Jesus Christ told of a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by robbers who stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

A priest, Jesus continued, happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  A Levite too came to the place, saw him and passed by on the other side.

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him,” Jesus said.

When, last Monday, the Kano State government under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, dethroned the Emir of Kano, Mohammad Sanusi 11 (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi), and banished him to Nasarawa State, it was unpopular for politicians, particularly those of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to openly condemn the sad development.

Most of the politicians were akimbo and maintained sealed lips, especially as they were not sure Ganduje could pull such a stunt without the signature of Aso Rock. Nobody wanted to lose his favour and meal ticket from the seat of power in Abuja.

So, like the attacked man on his way to Jericho, Sanusi was abandoned to his fate, while the politicians, contractors, and the big names that had dined and wined with him, maintained sealed lips.

But one man, a serving governor, who though enjoys a robust relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, elected to pour in oil and wine to sooth Sanusi’s wounds. His name is Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State.

El-Rufai provided his shoulder for the deposed Emir to lean on, as it were. Other governors from the zone were thinking of the likely consequences if they openly showed their disapproval of Ganduje’s ill-treatment of Sanusi which speaks volumes of the hypocrisy that define and nurture public office in Nigeria.

A day after Sanusi’s dethronement, the Kaduna State governor appointed the deposed Emir into the board of KADIPA, the state’s investment promotion agency.

The statement announcing the appointment read: “Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has appointed His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, into the board of KADIPA.

“The appointment is part of the reconstitution of the board of KADIPA, which is statutorily chaired by the deputy governor and has as internal members senior officials of the Kaduna State Government.

“Governor el-Rufai hopes to benefit from the profile, experience, intellect and networks of His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi, who before becoming Emir, had built a solid reputation in global financial circles.”

According to the statement, “Mallam Nasir el-Rufai said that Kaduna State was honoured to be able to call on the services of a man of such calibre to drive its development.”

Sanusi would be vice chairman of the agency while Hadiza Balarabe will be the chairperson.

While many Nigerians were pondering the authenticity of the announcement, el-Rufai followed with another jaw-dropping appointment of the Emir as the new Chancellor of the Kaduna State University (KASU), succeeding Malam Tagwai Sambo.

A statement announcing the development read, “On behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai is delighted to appoint His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Chancellor of the Kaduna State University. In public life, His Highness has demonstrated a strong commitment to education.

“The Kaduna State Government has no doubt that as Chancellor, His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi, would provide symbolic and substantive leadership in raising the profile of KASU as an emerging centre of learning on the national and global level.

“This appointment of the new chancellor comes at an exciting moment for KASU which is transiting to a multi-campus structure with presence across the state.

“HH Muhammadu Sanusi II replaces the pioneer Chancellor, HH Malam Tagwai Sambo, the Chief of Moro’a, who has served in that role since 2005. Governor El-Rufai has conveyed the profound appreciation of the government to HH Malam Tagwai Sambo for the long years of distinguished service to KASU and the state.

“Malam Nasir el-Rufai welcomes with gratitude the consent of His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi to serve as Chancellor of KASU and as Vice-Chairman of the board of KADIPA.

“The Kaduna State Government is grateful that HH Muhammadu Sanusi II continues to support and assist the realisation of the governance objectives of the Kaduna State Government.”

Shortly after Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja granted an interim order releasing Sanusi from detention last Friday, el-Rufai again raced to Awe Local Government Area where Sanusi was residing. He greeted the deposed Emir with all the courtesies he was entitled to, and had a brief meeting with the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Thereafter, Sanusi was said to have proceeded to Lagos, where he is expected to make his home for now, until the dusts are settled.

Speaking with journalists in Awe before leaving Nasarawa State, the Kaduna State governor said: “As you know, the Federal High Court in Abuja today declared his detention illegal and unconstitutional and his banishment also in violation of the constitution, so he is free.

“He can live anywhere he wants including Kano city, if he wants. But we are on our way to Abuja. It is quite likely that the emir proceeds to Lagos which was his preferred destination from day one.

“From the day he was informed of his deposition, it was his wish to go to Lagos because part of his family is now in Lagos. And by the grace of God we’re on our way to Lagos,” el-Rufai said.

 

ZEBULON AGOMUO