Everybody, save the tax office knows that I am a business man. And that I guess is okay in the sight of the Lord and the law. Perhaps if I had not been, my cheques as a poor scribbler won’t even be enough to buy me half my library. And to augment my remunerations, I was about in Tedi village, in Lagos State, having flown in from Abuja. And it was early morning on a certain good and glorious day of the Lord.
My business was to help structure a land deal, and pocket me some cut. And all was going well, and we were about to initial the agreements and give out the necessary bank payment instructions. Then a call came in. it was from O. Uga, a ward of mine who is a doctoral student in one of our universities. What about I asked; and he replied asking if I have read Sanusi thrashing the tribalism that is holding us down. And I wanted to put a word through and he said, he is not into my historical memory and dredging up of the past.
Not to spoil my chance at making a market kill, I left things at that. And if I couldn’t talk privately with the fellow, whose doctoral fees I pick up, then I could bring up the matter to the hearing of fellow Nigerians, courtesy the Ngwo Orie University, NOU. Let us quote the ThisDay, 20 Oct 2012, report: Sanusi Decries Politics of Ethnicity, Region in Nigeria. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has decried politics of ethnicity and region, identifying it as the bane of economic development and true democracy in Nigeria. He said …”It is irresponsible to frame election on ethnicity, but the political class has failed to realise the consequences of this.
The ethnic and socio-cultural associations like Arewa Consultative Forum, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum South-South Forum, Christian Association of Nigeria, Ja’amatu Nasir Islam among others are created by the political class to champion their interest. “How do you grow a nation on ethnicity and expect it to grow without problems? Cultural organisations have become political institutions; I am of the opinion that they should be abolished, if it is not possible, there should be law banning public office holders from being part of such organisations.
The activities of such cultural organisations are diversionary” he warned. According to him, any nation wishing to develop and catch up with other developing countries should not saddle itself with the question of which section or part of the country produce the next president. There are two problems with his assertions. The first is what the lawyer call locus standi. Alhaji Lamido Sanusi is himself a tribalist. Sanusi is a nepotist in chief. And before people jump into the fray, ours is not based on the usual accusations, of his surreptitiously introducing Arabic inscriptions, smuggling in Islamic banking, or on dashing away 100 million US dollars or Naira, does it matter, to his kinsmen at Kano.
No we have no interest in such little or mundane matters. Sanusi’s nepotism and therefore tribalism, is in his being born a prince and rooting for it. It is no secret he defends the institution of emirship and indulges himself in the fancy of being an emir some day. Now what is kingship? And kingship or emirship as is manifested in Kano? It the rite of coming to unelected power and privilege, based on no other qualifications other than bloodlines; on who your great forefathers were. In Kano, a City State of about 20 million Nigerians, only the descendants of one single family tree, may aspire to elected or more properly made emir of Kano.
And the emir of Kano has been described by those who perhaps should know, as the most powerful unelected leader in the north, and is routinely ranked above the Sultan of Sokoto; who is deemed to have only more influence. Now nothing else is tribalism, nothing else is nepotism. It is only that within time and space, it has been successfully sold to our largely, but joyfully ignorant Nigerians, as a solid vehicle of development, stability and what not.
However modern knowledge has come and we now know more. In fact if it were in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution and after, a Sanusi and company would have been…? If it was in China, a country that he often praises, he would have been banished into internal exile, to farm and get re-educated out of the false righteousness of his historical mis-education. It might be rewarding to remark, that China has more Muslims than Nigeria.
It therefore follows that such a man as he is, who lives, thrives and waits upon an institution that is nepotistic, cannot come to Abuja to moralize on nepotism, or tribalism, without formally repudiating his past, his heritage, and his future greed to mount the throne of his fathers. What he is done, is like unto the story of a successful armed robber, who is yet to come to justice, moralizing over a pickpocket who was caught at his game.
This first error of ignorance, of not knowing that he is bred in, and into nepotism is the least. The worst is that in his false innocence, he now acts and or purports to act, as to want to cleanse an order, a realm, when it is him and all he represents that should be cleansed. To be born a prince and to accede to your fate is the worst form of nepotism. To now look forward to being made a king, is that worst, consolidated irredeemably. If Sanusi is any compassionate and serious about his social conscience, he must first and above all, denounce and repudiate his privileges, his rights to a nepotism-restrictive power, stool and office. Before we are misunderstood, we don’t envy him his stations or privileges in life. I have mine.
My mother’s forefathers founded Ofo in Oru, before it was exported and consolidated in Igbo, and beyond. But to profiteer on your privileges, with the innocence of a sacrificial Khadija, is to pretend as if knowledge stopped at the dark ages, and there was no Voltaire and no Pascal. And if Sanusi has social compassion as his often bleeding and broken heart suggests, it should come easy to him to repudiate, if not his forefather’s kingdom or stool, at least renounce his rights or interests of succession to it. Siddhartha did it and I guess to a bigger and more ancient throne.
Perhaps all too likely Sanusi’s storm troopers will worsen his case, by telling us, kingship happens in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, etc. Perhaps, only perhaps, one is comforted in the fact, that ignorance comes in many colours, and in Nigeria, in truly flying colours. Now if Nigerians don’t know, other peoples of the world do. Even folks as uninformed as their business men do. Last time Prince Charles of Britain was about New York and his landscape nonsense, Ross Perot, an American trader, chided him, to go and look for work or something better to do; rather than to be living off nepotism, or waiting on his mother to die, to come to power and honor.
It is our peculiar ill luck that our best and brightest, so called, are so ignorant they are mixing up logic with history. History is not logic, nor need it be logical. That it happens is not that it should happen. We are not saying though that Sanusi should not rise or be raised to be the emir of Kano. We are saying he should spare us the hypocrisy of his unknowing, and recalcitrant ignorance. At least the man, who has food fed into his mouth, should have the innocence of silence, rather than berate the famished for being weak at work, like Unoka, as Achebe created him.
But the greatest tragedy of all is that Sanusi may not really know, that kingship is built and erected on nepotism and little else. And this is indicated as it is apparent that millions of other Nigerians, including a doctoral student, his lecturers, journalists, nationalists, fools, will believe him, will not suspect traditional stools of whatever wood or gold they are forged, are fabrications upon nepotism and nothing else. We are such an ignorant nation and peoples, so much our scholars are not redeeming us, are themselves cognitively unredeemed.
Nigeria is all a congregation, a belief led crowd, and not a thinking or thinkers’ faculty. So how can such as a people, develop or be developed? Development is of faculties, not of churches, mosques or shrines. In fact development is the subjugation of the church, the mosque, the okwu arushi to the faculty. Perhaps this drags us to the fanciful and absurdly ignorant rap, about leadership being Nigeria’s problem. Nigeria has no leadership problems. And don’t believe it, Nigeria also has no known economic or development problems.
All we suffer is a knowledge deficit chasm, and we are hanging by its cliff. Our best and brightest are mere plagiarists, or have plagiarism cases, as good as won, hanging over them. Or do we need to recall their names all over again? The question you may ask; how can a people, who wouldn’t know that kingship, whatever else it is, is nepotism, ever be led, or amount to anything? The answer is of course obvious; no way. And to be fair to the facts as they are, it is Nzeogwu who is the inaugural chief priest and thus the most dangerous Nigerian ever.
He was quickly followed by Gowon and all, repeat all other coup makers. Their Cartesian reference, unstated though, is this: that since atoms or essences are neither created nor destroyed; and that knowledge is power, or convertible to power, it therefore follows that power or office is convertible, back to knowledge. So rather than long lonely hours of study, it is more profitable to become a thug, suddenly, and acquire power, and do the conversion. That is, whoever is in power, is in knowledge and therefore the saving genius, the most compassionate nationalist, and even deity. And we lap up the ignorance, like the street side dog, a child’s vomit.
And is Buhari’s career not proof enough of our joyful ignorance? It is this ignorant certainty, that being in office, is being in knowledge that drives a Sanusi, to talk down on others, to talk ignorantly at the market places. In a sense Sanusi is no better than an Nzeogwu. It is just that rather than parade fatigues, he wears business suits, and rather than guns, he carries his Blackbery palm tops. Sanusi, Nzeogwu or millions of Nigerians, all are in ignorance, and nearly unredeemed and unredeemable. And it is not only Sanusi in high places.
I have in great trepidation heard Okonjo Iweala joined by Dangote, claim that the problem with Nigeria, is not in policy formulation, but implementation. And I have heard Iweala separately claim, that part of the problems with Nigeria is policy inconsistency or gyration or miliki. None of these is true; Nigeria has no problems of implementation, and there has never been any policy flip flop in Nigeria, since Gowon riding by his guns, washed up by the Lagos lagoon, a head of state and gun totting redeemer to booth. If you doubt, wager.
The truth is that, if these great men were all philologists, rather than economists, they would have first understood the meaning, and history of words. And if they were philologists and not economists, Nigeria would have been a far greater and more prosperous country. Again, if you doubt, wager Meanwhile I am at a loss; what to do about my ward, Uga: Stop paying his doctoral fees, or ship him off to America, at great cost; where at least he could taught, that hereditary kingship is nepotism, whatever else it is.
Or what do you think dear reader? Or can we be helped with the high cost of paying for college fees in, say Harvard? Even if we can, must we? Ahiazuwa.