Sanusi, Social Reality Vis-à-vis Hypocrisy By Garba Shehu

I have no defence to give, neither do I have obligations   to offer explanations for the donation of One Hundred Million Naira   (N100,000,000) given to the victims of the multiple bomb attack a month ago   in Kano, by the Central Bank of Nigeria, . The Bank is today under the   Governorship of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a man from Kano, and for which reason   has been accused of so many ills, among which are that is “clannish”, a   “nepotist”, “chauvinist” and a “fanatic” who cannot ‘see’ any other view.   There be some deeper reason to these rash of attacks. Let it not be   forgotten that Lamido is a suspect, if not a convict, in the court of many   sections of Nigeria for “unilaterally smuggling in the Islamic Banking   System,” which has since gone into operation in spite of vehement opposition   by an outspoken Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN.

A truly objective stand on the donation to Kano by the   would be to question it on the basis that one, this is the first of this size   by the and to ask where this large amount of money is coming from; two,   the question also arises as to why now, and why Kano, Sanusi’ home state   when crises and disasters of alarming magnitudes have struck in many parts of   the country without the Governor dipping his hand in the treasury to make   such outlandish donations. In particular, I have in mind states that have   continuously experienced this type of crises like Plateau, Borno, Yobe and to   some extent Kaduna.

I have been reading particularly angry reactions on-line   by the Igbo people, both at home and the diaspora, and what they are saying   is Igbos had lost lives and property in many places in the North, the most   recent one in Mubi, Adamawa State, where 13 family members killed by the   Boko Haram. Sanusi did not send a penny. Some of the criticisms are specific   and vociferous, saying that Sanusi is playing with CBN, using its   funds to promote his aspirations for the emirship of Kano – an ambition that   barely keeps secret. Those who back him say that nothing of the magnitude of   the Kano incident has happened anywhere in Nigeria. For its part, the CBN has   issued a statement saying the donation to Kano is one of many in the pipeline   that are being processed, which to me sounds belated and unconvincing.

Having said this, my real problem with the drift of the   debate is the double standard on which Sanusi’ critics have anchored their   arguments.

In today’ time, Nigerians worry more about what others do   rather than what they themselves are doing. No fraud, cheating or injustice   can ever be justified. No religion teaches you to cheat another man. This   notwithstanding, Nigerians in positions of authority everywhere are doing   everything they can to play up their section, state or religion over the   other. As it is, terror, nepotism, clannishness and chauvinism are not a   monopoly of any part of Nigeria. They are all doing it. But this doesn’t mean   it is right.

The Yar’Adua-Jonathan PDP government may have enunciated   the amnesty in the Niger Delta in absolute good faith. But sneaky   doubts still remain as to whether that government had actually caved in to   troublemakers. aside, not many Nigerians would have thought that a   noble policy as that of amnesty would turn to be a tool to undermine the   guarantee of equal rights and protection for all citizens. A   few months ago, the Daily Trust laid the nation the shocking report   that 84% of all capital budget within a six month was being spent in   the President’s home region, the Niger Delta. In the name of amnesty,   thousands of youngmen and women are being sponsored overseas for various   professional training, to the exclusion of other parts of the . In   this regard, Niger Deltans and in particular Bayelsans are making a hay carting   away sensitive and lucrative government jobs while the rest of the country   watches helplessly. Recently, a N16billion contract for maritime security and   patrol was awarded to a company owned by a former militant, Mr. Tompolo   merely on the grounds of pacifying the Niger Deltans at the expense of   competence and competitive bidding. This multi-billion naira contract, which   was hurriedly and uncritically approved by the Federal Executive Council, is   already greeted with controversy and outrage by other Nigerians. It is   unfortunate that leaders abandon their national obligations and degenerate to   sectional champions. Sanusi’s controversial donation is a sad reflection of   this ugly Nigerian reality.

This country is full of contradictions and are all at   ease with it because of our ethnic, religious and regional differences. I   have lately been picking grumbles in the North that the Vice President,   Architect Namadi Sambo has no qualms cornering important appointments for his   own people in Kaduna State. One example that was cited in this regard is the   recent appointments into a big federal government corporation two key   posts of a Commissioner and a Director, earmarked for the North-West   snatched by two of Sambo’s nominees from Kaduna State. In the Nigerian Ports   Authority, NPA there is a vacancy for an executive director earmarked for the   North, and for which position there are at least three qualified   professionals who are angling for the job. But the story going round in the   industry is that with Sambo’s two candidates, both of them outsiders and from   Kaduna State waiting in the wings, no insider, no matter how qualified stands   a chance of clinching that position.

If there are friends you have among the Tivs in Benue   State, ask them about the raw deal they are getting at the federal level from   Idoma, the ethnic group of the Senate President. The local power rotation   deal between the majority Tiv and minority Idoma crashed in 2007 because the   Tivs determined that they can not lose to Idoma in Abuja, then surrender the   home turf to them at the same time.

So I do not say that the Governor of the Central Bank has   done no wrong. The thing that ought not to be missed is that in the general   atmosphere of permissiveness, if not licentiousness reigning all over the   country, his sin, if I would say it is on a kinder note, pales into   insignificance compared to the magnitude of transfer of jobs, capital and   resources to Niger Delta which today rules Nigeria like a conquered people.   Sanusi’s donation is a mere reflection of social reality vis-à-vis the   hypocrisy among all sections of the country. The complete atmosphere has been   spoiled by no other thing than selfishness and greed and there cannot be   another reason for this.

Those who think this is a wrong direction in which to move   Nigeria should tell those who lead us to submit themselves to equal   opportunity test. The day our leaders start defending and standing up for the   constitution and the laws of the land, and have a clear view and conscience   on this, unbiased towards ethnicity, religion or region, the problems of this   country will simply evaporate through the windows.


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