Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, berated Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, over his removal of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II from the throne, describing him as the most notorious public face of disorder.
Soyinka said this in his reaction to the dethronement of Sanusi, contending that the action taken under the clout of immunity had catapulted the governor, who he described as Sanusi’s tormentor, to the ranks of the most notorious public face of the disorder that the deposed emir Sanusi strove to eradicate.
This was as the Nobel Laureate described the deposed emir as a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, who had taken on powerful corrupters of that institution, for which vengeance laid in wait for him.
“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 face 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 some mutual associates, we held, not so long ago, a phone conversation during his visit to London, just after the shrinking of his domain signalled the commencement of 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,” Soyinka said.
“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 satirizes 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 hardcore 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,” the Nobel Laureate added.
Soyinka said it was a pity that Ganduje lacked friends who could have saved him from himself, adding Ganduje’s conduct, in this recent move, was on a par with the repudiated colonial order, and also synonymous with the authoritarianism of the crudest temper as the record had shown.
“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 the authoritarianism of the crudest temper. The record shows, in this particular instance, that it is one that embodies modernized 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,” he said.
Soyinka, while noting that the palace gates of Kano emirate might not be based on his personal feeling, were not yet definitively slammed against Sanusi, who he described as an Islamic scholar and a royal scion affirmed that “the doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammadu Sanusi.”
“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 a 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,” he said.