Sanusi: A Lesson For Posterity


He might not be the most shining light in a system strongly hinged in thick darkness, but his tale is an epistle that reminds us of how herculean, and probably how improbable it is to fight a culture laced with cancer.

From day one, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi left no one in doubt that he is a man who is not ready to be one who will play by Robert Greene first law of power (Never outshine the master). He made it known that there will be no sacred cows. It is salient to note that the job was never one that he coveted. He had only become the Group Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria, before the president dangled the carrot before him. Thus, he is not your regular power seeking Nigerian. There is an anomaly with a system that disposes of it’s best minds. It is not for nothing that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was named London’s Central banker of the year and Africa’s central banker of the year in the past.

The shameless messenger of Aso Rock, Dr Reuben Abati, will have us believe that the presidency dispensed of him for financial recklessness, misconduct and violations of the laws of the land. Yes, Sanusi might have been wrong for throwing money around to organisations in the name of corporate social responsibility, but let us not throw the baby away with the bath water. At least, he did not spend these funds purchasing two BMW cars worth over 250 million naira for himself. Rather, he gave to victims of Boko haram and casualities of the flood scourge. For Goodluck Jonathan, this action has reinforced that he might not have the radical personality of Olusegun Obasanjo, but he surely beats baba in terms of his rulership of shrewd impunity. I have since seized to buy into the cheap talk that our president cannot harm a fly. You will be wrong to mistake clothed impunity for cowardice and humility. We know better. How Jonathan cannot wait till June when Sanusi’s tenure will elapse to get rid of him, is beyond many of us.

In conclusion, it is pitiable that anyone will laud the suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Some argue that he was acting the script of the broom opposition. Others are of the opinion that he was carrying out an Islamic agenda and some few are incensed that he ever conceived the thought of introducing the 5000 naira note that did not see the dawn of the day. For the purpose of an argument, such criticisms might not be entirely baseless. However, it a mark of our battered and crude democracy, that anyone who disagrees with the government of the day, becomes (to use Reno Omokri’s term) a fifth columnist. Those that accuse Sanusi of being bedfellows with the likes of Nasir El Rufai and Bukola Sakari, have to get a perspective. Sanusi attended same Kings College with Saraki, while himself and El Rufai, have been childhood friends. It’s unfortunate that for many, anything and everything must be seen through the lens of political and religious sentiments. It is a shame that we forget too quickly in this part of the world. This was the same Sanusi who rescued our banks from the façade his predecessor masked them in. Don’t be deluded, Sanusi is being hanged by the forces he had dared to step on. He has ruffled many feathers, a handful of them are kingpins of the Jonathan administration. In their vindictive book, it is that page where they now take their own pound of flesh. And there is the damning feather ruffling of the NNPC forces. Men for which NNPC have remained an apt example of the failed Nigerian dream. Be it 48, 28, 12,10 or 20 billion naira, it goes without saying that one of Sanusi’s prodigal sins, is to dare to thread into this path where angels feared. Perhaps, it is the calculations of the power brokers and the prima donnas that suspending him is a needed distraction of the probe. Indeed, ours is a tale of a people that even though we were robbed in daylight, we are too preoccupied with enough troubles that we let the looters go in peace.

It is instructive that Sanusi Lamido is heading to court not to regain his job, but to ensure that the impunity that ousted him from power is not meted out to his successor. Sadly, this is a battle he might likely lose. In the early days of his reign as CBN governor, BBC Hardtalk while having him as a guest on the show asked rhetorically: Can you win against the system? Victory is relative, and to have dared the cancerous system, is to have won the battle over fear. A victory that posterity will surely leverage on.

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