Prof. Wole Soyinka speaks on Sanusi’s dethronement


 Noble Laureate, Wole Soyinka has reacted to the dethronement of Kano Emir, Muhammed Sanusi II.

POLITICS NIGERIA recalls how Mr Sanusi was deposed by Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and was sent on exile to Nasarawa afterwards.

Commenting on Ganduje’s action, the don noted that “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.”

Mr Soyinka, who expressed his view in an opinionated article published on SaharaReporters, described Sanusi’s removal as an attempt to deepen the security and economic challenges of the nation.

“These are depressing times – stemming from different factors of course – for a large sector of the nation. Insecurity, economy in a coma,
a leadership in name only, having vanished into either, permanently AWOL in a time of serial crisis.”

Soyinka opined that the latest event in Kano makes one wonder which is the more reactionary order between the so-called feudal institution, or “the self-vaunting modernized governance whose apex can bring the feudal to heel quite arbitrarily, without check and without seeming consequence.”

“To rub pepper in the wound, the protagonist of that “progressive” order enjoys near-absolute immunity, thus, even when it has disgraced its status and violated its oath of office, caught literally with its pants down in open defecation, it can still pretend to act in the interest of progress, modernity and public well being.  Such are the ironies raised by the purported dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi, with one stroke of a pen!”

Soyinka also cited a historical event when a similar scenario began to unfold in my own state, Ogun some years ago.

” The then governor, on account of an imagined slight by one of the monarchs in his domain was actually poised – not virtually but physically – poised to sign the dethronement and banishment order on that traditional ruler. His office was invaded by some of the panicked chiefs and stalwarts of Ogun state who rushed to ward off the impending order.”

“One of them stopped at my home after the pacification session to narrate what had transpired, and how some of them had actually gone on their knees to plead with that governor to stay action. I was furious. I knew every detail of that affair, had listened to a recording of the speech that was supposed to have given this mighty offence,” the Nobel laureate recounted.

In the article, Wole Soyinka says it is a pity Ganduje lacked friends who could have saved him from embarking on such an act of ‘injustice’.

“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-feudalized feudalism itself, and is synonymous with authoritarianism of the crudest temper.”

Speaking on Sanusi’s personality, he stated that Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitization squad in the banking system taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution.

“By contrast, confidence in immunity has catapulted his tormentor to the ranks of the most notorious public faces of the disorder that Sanusi strove to eradicate. Obviously, vengeance lay in wait, and he was not unaware of it,” He added.


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