Muhammadu Sanusi ll, as Sarki and Symbol of Kanawa
- A Kano Leads perspective.
KANO Leadership Empowerment and Advocacy for Development (Kano LEADS) Initiative is a community based non-partisan Non-Governmental Organisation open to all Kanawa committed to the concept of a regenerated Kano with a view to returning the State to its days of glory as an enviable leader in all spheres of life.
It is an association of Kano Patriots concerned with everything of importance to Kano, with a slogan of #DaRUWANA as an indicator of utmost concern in seeking all the good and rejecting all the negatives for the State and People of Kano.
Kano LEADS is an offshoot of that conscious effort that canvassed for Change in 2015 for enthronement of the General Muhammadu Buhari Government as a matter of principle in view of the state of the nation and in particular the pauperized and traumatized North.
Kano LEADS Initiative has followed with keen interest the ongoing spate of reactions, criticisms and even outright condemnation of some of the public comments and utterances of Mai Martaba Sarkin Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. While many people appreciated and hailed the comments some commentators have taken the opportunity to digress from the issues raised and gone on to attack the person of the Emir in total disregard to the traditional respect accorded our traditional institutions.
It is with this as background that we are compelled to intervene in the ongoing distasteful and disrespectful furore around the many public statements of Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II.
This is because our monarch, the Sarkin Kano, is the public face and symbol of Kano and Kano people and what Kano stands for.
For Sarki Sanusi he may still be talking as Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS), the firebrand intellectual to fit his educated passion of what the times need, to hurry history along. Unfortunately for him SLS is now Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II, the foremost monarch in the North and no doubt the nation.
He is not the chief banker of the nation, he is not the highflying economist and student of Islamic jurisprudence with a passion for what goes on around him in governance, in politics and more closely in the economic sphere.
He now represents a lot more than what he was a bare two years ago. He represents an institution that has over 1,000 years of consistent history behind it.
Despite the resilience of the Kano monarchy and society and its adaptability through the centuries it still remains an expectedly conservative institution, and more importantly to us in Kano LEADS and to Kanawa a symbol of Kano and Kanawa.
So, Sarki must live up to certain minimum expectations even as he leads the change that he must bring to the centuries old monarchy as his historic duty and responsibility.
We do have our Governors, we have our legislators and our chairmen and local Councillors and all that is government in the modern world. But it is this symbol, this Sarki that has remained constant and that has kept us up as a symbol of that Kano spirit.
Thus the understanding that when the Sarki speaks, as he speaks for us, he is expected to weigh his position, even if factual and desirable.
Sarki must also be protected because once he is undone we, all the people of Kano, stand the risk of being undone.
While appreciating that Sarki may offend many who are used to the old way of Sarauta in Kano, we must caution those who take offense at his stance and many comments, bold comments at that.
We must caution that taking offense is not reason enough to attack the Sarki's position in public.
We should be very clear about it, that an attack on Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, as Sarki today, is an attack on the institution. That it is an attack on us all.
If from within we take the Sarki, our Royal Father, Our Leader, to the cleaners, how do we defend ourselves and who defends us when we are attacked as a people by outsiders?
In addition, and in fact more importantly, it is our considered opinion that we should be reasonable enough to appreciate the MESSAGE rather than hang the MESSENGER!
We should always consider the totality of Sarkin Kano's messages not his presentation, not his disposition.
We should all look at the facts of the matter on whatever Sarki Sanusi has said over time.
For us, as Kanawa, we should also look at our interests in matters raised by the Sarki.
What are the issues he raised that are offensive to those who express outrage from amongst us?
Are those issues factual.
Are they in our interest?
Sarki is facing flak because he is concerned at the treatment of women in our Kano community.
He is so concerned that he seeks the most radical of solutions to, as it were, stem the tide of further degeneration of our societal and moral values.
That is why he champions the Kano Emirate Family Law, a code he is catalysing after many similar efforts attempted earlier.
This is not new. There is along such lines, the Kano Social Policy, signed into Law under military rule during the days of then Colonel Idris Garba as Kano Governor in 1988.
Such concerns were behind the institution of the Shariah legal system in Kano as in other states of the North during the first term of Governor Kwankwaso in the year 2000 after then Zamfara Governor Ahmad Sani, Yariman Bakura had blazed the trail.
Other issues that may have offended those who now target Sarki with all kinds of vitriol, blackmail and intimidation may actually be driven by political considerations.
Such issues are the Sarkin Kano's rather forceful arguments on how governance should be handled by those we elected.
He has also spoken a lot on the economy, criticizing the Government as an economist of international repute deriding handlers of the Government's economic policy regime.
Many who claim and assume that they are more friends of the Government than Sarki Sanusi, conveniently forget that it was his courageous criticism of the Jonathan Government while still serving as CBN Governor that was a major plank in the arsenal of the then opposition which helped topple the PDP and assist the Change Agenda of the APC.
Such misguided "friends" of Our and Sarki Sanusi's APC Change Government have thus risen to the attack, with uncommon fierceness, rubbishing our Distinguished Royal Father.
Sadly, they refuse to give due regard to the distinguished throne of the Kano Monarchy Sarki Sanusi sits on. They fail to recognise the negative multiplier effect of their impunity and misplaced audacity on the State of Kano, the North and its people.
Of the issues Sarkin Kano raised no one can doubt the fact that all of them are of importance to the people of Kano and indeed the North. They are also factual.
It is a fact that governance is not receiving the attention it deserves, just like Sarkin Kano said in his celebrated deep and bold speech at the recent Kaduna Investment Forum.
It is a fact too that it is not our sins or religion or lack thereof that messed up our hospitals and led to a meningitis epidemic up North.
Everything here obviously has to do with the failure of governance, a failure sharply highlighted by the Sarki Sanusi homily at Kaduna. After all, it is said a problem acknowledged is a problem half solved.
In addition it is clear many are not too happy with Sarki's comments on the Kano intra-city Light Rail, that incidentally, we at Kano LEADS also feel needs to be looked at again. Numerous other commentators on public affairs have also spoken along these same lines.
On almost everything that Sarki Sanusi speaks there is value. And that has been his practice for decades.
The only difference now is that he represents the institution that symbolises who we are.
It is not in our interest to keep on bashing him, because though he is mortal, he is no ordinary mortal by virtue of the throne he now occupies.
He needs protection, as we pointed out earlier.
On the other hand, it bears repeating he needs to also be more circumspect in doing what he knows best. We will not want him to keep quiet. We would not want him silenced. We, in fact need his kind of advocacy if we are to take Kano to the next level.
At this juncture while cautioning against bringing down the roof of our collective home, we make haste to passionately appeal to the Government and People of Kano to appreciate the facts raised here and as it were sheath the sword for the benefit of Kano, Kanawa and our future.
Here, we also wish to crave the indulgence of Mai Martaba SanKano Muhammadu Sanusi II, CON, to henceforth broaden consultation on all issues he has to go public on. Because whenever he speaks he speaks for us; wherever he goes he goes on our behalf; whatever he does he does for us. There is no Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Private Prince anymore!
While he has his Emirate Council and all formal and informal sources and contacts, we are of the opinion Mai Martaba Sarki should convoke a genuine and all-encompassing Kano Stakeholders Forum that should meet regularly with all the who-is-who -- who have the kind of standing or influence and indeed endowments -- that should enrich any and all interventions made on our behalf by Mai-Martaba Sarki himself or a designated representative. That is if there is no such all encompassing Stakeholders Forum.
And we reaffirm here again, that we are intervening in our humble way because we are concerned. Because #DaRUWANA!
Allah Ya Taimake-Mu. Allah Ya taimaki Kano da Kanawa.
Aishatu I. Dankani MFR, mni
Sani Ahmad Sufi Ph.D., mni
Chairman, Abuja Chapter
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