THE KING IS BACK: 7 Key Moments Of Sanusi Outside The Throne

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Muhammadu Sanusi II, the newly reinstated Emir and ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, is a figure whose life has been marked by a blend of traditional authority and progressive thought.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State announced the appointment of Sanusi as the new Emir of Kano on Thursday.

He made the announcement after signing the new emirate council law at Government House, Kano.

The governor signed the law alongside his deputy, the Speaker of the State Assembly and other principal officers in the government.

Former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had dethroned Sanusi in 2020, following a personal rift.

After his dramatic deposition in March 2020, Sanusi’s activities continued to capture public interest.

Here are seven key notable moments in Sanusi’s life outside the throne.

1. Banishment to Loko

Following his removal from the throne by the Kano State government, Sanusi was banished to Loko, a remote village in Nasarawa State, a move that was seen by many as a politically-motivated punishment.

Despite the challenging conditions in Loko, Sanusi remained composed, using the period of confinement for reflection and planning his next steps.

The legality of his banishment was widely contested, with many Nigerians seeing it as an infringement on his fundamental rights.

Eventually, a court ruling declared his detention illegal, and he was freed from confinement.

2. Academic Pursuits at Oxford

After his release from banishment, he accepted a fellowship at the University of Oxford.

At Oxford, Sanusi was appointed as a visiting scholar at the African Studies Centre of St. Antony’s College.

This opportunity allowed him to engage in academic discourse, research, and lectures, solidifying his role as a thought leader beyond the confines of traditional rulership.

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3. Disputing ‘Former Emir’ title 

Another notable moment after his dethronement was Sanusi’s assertion that he should not be referred to as the “former emir.”

He argued that, in the tradition and culture of Kano, an emir remains an emir for life, regardless of their deposition.

He stated this in 2021 in Kaduna State, when Muhammad Sani “Dattijo” Abdullahi, the then Governor El-Rufai’s Chief of Staff, at the Kaduna Investment Summit, referred to Sanusi as the “former Emir of Kano.”

When Sanusi spoke afterwards, he publicly rebuked Abdullahi, indicating that calling him “former emir” was unacceptable and hinted at consequences for the chief of staff.

Sanusi’s remarks made it clear his ego was bruised by the title.

4. Mourning Herbert Wigwe

Sanusi showed his deeply emotional side when he publicly mourned the death of Herbert Wigwe, a close friend and former Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank.

In an emotional tribute, Sanusi described Wigwe as a visionary leader and a brother, highlighting the profound impact Wigwe had on his life and the banking industry.

A clip containing a part of the speech in which he was shading tears went viral and sparked a lot of reactions with many saying what Sanusi did illustrated the human side of a seemingly stern and unyielding public figure.

5. Advocacy for economic reforms

Post-deposition, Sanusi was vocal about Nigeria’s economic direction, leveraging his experience as a former Central Bank Governor.

He frequently critiqued government policies, calling for more sustainable economic reforms and better governance.

Sanusi’s speeches and writings often emphasized the need for transparency, accountability, and the eradication of corruption.

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His persistent advocacy kept him in the limelight as a significant voice in Nigeria’s socio-economic discourse.

6. Role in the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency

Sanusi’s commitment to economic development found a new avenue when he was appointed to the board of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA).

In this role, he was instrumental in attracting investments to Kaduna State, aiming to boost economic activities and create jobs.

7. Championing Girl Child Education

A long-time advocate for education, particularly for girls, Sanusi continued to champion this cause since leaving the throne.

He partnered with various organizations to promote educational initiatives and empower young girls.

His advocacy focuses on breaking the barriers that prevent girls from accessing education, such as child marriage and cultural stigmas.

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