THE INSIDER: Sanusi’s ‘frank talk’ provoking a backlash
At the second edition of the Kaduna Investment Forum, Sanusi called on northern leaders to accept the realities of the modern world, and educate the girl child.
Before then, he called on all religious and traditional leaders to refrain from beating their wives, adding that they will lose their titles if they do so. He also corrected the “Islamically incorrect” views of Abdulaziz Yari, the governor of Zamfara state, who said meningitis is a product of fornication.
In Morocco, over the weekend, Sanusi said Zamfara state started the implementation of Sharia in Nigeria but now has the highest poverty rate in the country.
SANUSI SQUANDERED N3BN ON ROLLS ROYCE?
In response to Sanusi’s teachings, messages on and off social media have accused the emir of squandering N3 billion of Kano Emirate’s money on buying two Rolls Royce and on hiring chartered flights.
Sanusi was also accused of “kissing, holding and romancing ladies in public” with the picture of him hugging a woman in public.
The government is set to investigate his financial deals, according to one report. EFCC may “arrest” him, and this will lead to deposition.
Sanusi did not respond to queries from TheCable on these allegations, sending a terse message: “False accusations not surprising, are they?”
But a Kano palace insider told TheCable that the allegations are “the usual rubbish”.
He confirmed that the emir has two Rolls Royce, but they are gifts from his friends.
“Emirate council never had anything like N3 billion in its account when Emir Sanusi came on board. And the so-called lady he was romancing is Maryam, his second wife, and it is even an old picture they took on a holiday in Mauritius long before he became emir,” the insider said.
“The two Rolls Royce they talk about were never bought with emirate money. Emirs traditionally have friends and well wishers who buy some of these cars.
“Ado Bayero’s limos were mainly from Aminu Dantata, Isiaka Rabiu, Fernandez and Sani Abacha. Sanusi’s white Rolls Royce was given to him by an old friend Kola Kareem. The black other was given by another old friend, who was his classmate at ABU in 1977, Bola Shagaya.”
The insider said he did not spend a kobo in the purchase of the exotic cars and the allegations of financial probes are “non-existent”.
The insider adds that “the council has never bought a ticket for any of the emir’s foreign trips and in fact on almost all of them he buys the tickets and pays accommodation for the two title holders who accompany him, even though it is council’s responsibility”.
“His Highness has never chartered a jet but if he needs a private jet he has many friends, and when he calls one of them and they arrange it happily: Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Segun Agbaje, Aiboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Dauda Lawal, Herbert Wigwe, Wale Tinubu, Shagaya.
“Anytime he needs a plane one of these obliges and he doesn’t pay and council does not pay.”
RENOVATING THE PALACE WITH HIS PERSONAL MONEY
Sanusi is also accused of renovating the palace ostentatiously, in a bid to waste monies belonging to the council. For someone preaching prudence to the government, this would pass for hypocrisy any day.
The renovations have been controversial. He was at some point accused of destroying historical relics.
TheCable learnt from palace insiders that the emir is funding the construction of most of the work in the palace “from his overdraft with First Bank”.
“He expects part of it at least to be paid back but this is for our family and he doesn’t mind spending his personal money on the palace,” one insider said.
“The emir’s speech in Kaduna was a simple one. He just advised all governments at the federal, state and local levels in light of high levels of indebtedness to adopt a new growth model driven by investment and not loans.
“Everything else was just for illustration of the disadvantage of new borrowing for infrastructure. It was an investment forum, so it was an apt subject.”
As though he expected the backlash, the emir said in Morocco on Saturday that politicians are always happy when he makes comments to locals on what must be done to better their lives but angry when he charges government to do more.
“Traditional rulers like me find themselves in a very difficult position: on one hand, politicians are very happy for you to go and fight fires, tell people to keep the peace, preach to people to condemn violence.
“On the other, you are not allowed to criticise root causes that may come from the failure of politicians. So it is fine to say to a rural villager, you should send your daughter to school. But it is not fine to say to the governor ‘why haven’t you built a school’”.
The emir promised at the Mo Ibrahim Forum, to continue to be a firefighter, who would continue to tell the truth always.
As he throws more missiles out, he will receive more missiles. In kind.