From Uche Usim, Abuja
Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammad Sanusi II, has relieved his experience as chief regulator of the banking industry, noting that he was prepared to go to prison while he had a face-off with the Jonathan administration for blowing the cover on alleged embezzlement of public funds.
Speaking in Abuja at a dinner organised in his honour by the Nigerian Platform to celebrate his 60th birthday, he said he understands that sensitive nerves are ruptured when the truth is spoken, but will not be deterred in speaking against injustice, inequality and government failure, regardless of whose ox is gored.
Sanusi described greed and fear as the twin-blights stunting the growth of Nigeria, advising those in authority to wean themselves off these destructive traits so that a better Nigeria can emerge.
He said: “When I had my problem in the Central Bank and there were all those noises, I told the President that he doesn’t need to go through all those.
“He should just tell me that he is sending so and so to prison for a particular number of years, I will drive myself, go to the prison, I will register, I will stay for that number of years, I will come out and continue doing what I am doing now.
“The reality is that two things destroyed this country. Fear and greed. And if we can all conquer those, we should be able to make this country a great one that it should be”, he said.
The former Emir added that having been imprisoned for over a year in Sokoto when he was much younger on trumped up charges, there was nothing for him to fear again when it comes to prison life.
Sanusi who is now the Khalifa Tijjaniya in Nigeria told the gathering that even if he was put in jail, he would have served his term, come out from prison alive, continue to speak against evil and raise his voice for a better Nigeria.
“Apart from death, in human history, man has not designed any punishment for a fellow man that is worse than prison and isolation. What is the greatest threat anyone can do to me? If you tell me you will jail me, I have been there. That is the worst. Or if you kill me, we will all die anyway.
“So those of you that are afraid that they will send police after me or if I go to prison I will die, someone has been there”, he stated.
On rumours that he was eyeing politics, Sanusi said political ambition was not on his cards.
“People keep asking me what next I want to do and let me state here for those who keep talking about politics that I have never hidden the fact that my ambition was to be Emir of Kano, I have never hidden my intention about anything.
“So, if I say I am not interested in politics, it is because I am not interested. If I wanted to go into politics, I would have come out and say I am contesting for the Presidency of Nigeria. But I am not just interested and the reason is because I have not prepared myself for politics.
“I prepared myself a long time ago for academic life, I prepared myself for banking, I prepared myself for the Emirate but I have not had one day experience in politics.
“I have applied and I have been admitted and from September, I will be writing a PhD in law in the university of London and I’m writing my thesis on the codification of Muslim family law as an instrument of social reforms”.
While thanking God for his favour upon him in the last 60 years, the former Emir called on those in privileged positions to use their resources to impact the lives of the people positively.
He added, “I have been fortunate, I have seen the highs and lows of life and I truly have so much to be thankful for. At age of 60, I won’t say I have achieved but the favours that I have been bestowed upon me are huge.
“I was the Chief Risk Officer of First Bank and the only Northern Nigerian Chief Executive Officer of First Bank in over 125 years, then Governor of CBN and Emir and now the Khalifa and the third holder of this title, I have nothing but gratitude to offer.”