Sanusi: A Different Kind Of Governor By Emmanuel Ogbeche

Prior to Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s appointment by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on June 4, 2009, there had been nine other Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Of these past governors, none had captured our imagination as much as the now suspended Prince of Kano Emirate. None had also shown such political truancy in an otherwise conservative and measured position as Sanusi.

Whether you like or hate him, the Governor of the CBN on suspension, is a master of rhetoric; a man that knows how to play to the sentiments of a citizenry in
want of the dramatic, a section that is in dire want of anti-government pronouncements. And recognising this misplaced seeming populist craving, Sanusi forgot his high office and danced to tunes contrary to his calling as the High Priest of the nation’s financial apex.

Since his suspension for obvious financial misdemeanours despite his high sounding sanctimonious cymbals of finger pointing, the crows have been out in his defence and trying to portray him as a victim in the whole financial mess that has become our lot since independence.

The victim posturing is not entirely new and surprising when one takes into cognisance the insightful and highly researched works of the inspirational speaker and life coach, Steve Maraboli. 

Maraboli is a man that understands the drama of life especially as it has to do with the victim mentality. According to him, people like Sanusi who complain, make fuss and create lots of drama, whine and make endless excuses, suffer from delusion and the victim mentality, which ultimately does not take them to their desired goal: to dominate.

He writes: “Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have NEVER gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you DESERVE better and go EARN it!”

Yes, when Sanusi chanced on our national consciousness on his appointment, it was clear to discerning that he wanted to dominate, to dictate the pace and be the Omnibus direction of how the economy should run; how other government functionaries including those he is answerable to should kowtow to him. Perhaps, his feudal upbringing as a Blue Blood gave him the feeling of superiority; the invincible mettle to spew radical ideas rather than propagate integration, boost confidence in the system and follow clearly defined channels of communications in redressing his perceived wrongs, if any.

But like obviously posited by Maraboli in his psychological summation, the likes of Sanusi are cry babies’ of sorts and people that are truly disturbed by their sense of overwhelming importance. In this regard, he finds good company with the petit former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Nigeria’s Number One Accidental Public Servant, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and not the least Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

Together like his ilk, Sanusi owing to the fact that he desires public sympathy in order to achieve his ultimate desire for personal advancement, failed as a risk manager that he is reputed to be, to pick his fights while he obscured facts and played on the sentiments of the gullible. If it were not so, as the apex banker, he should in the first instance be consistent and concrete with his facts. But like shifting sand and a house built on the river banks, his figures of what the NNPC failed to remit to the Federation Account kept changing when the high tide of close public scrutiny was focused on his allegations.

More than that, his dabbling into partisan and regional discourse was more cancerous than his allegations of missing billions. Except the Nigerian wishes to deceive himself or be hoodwinked, it is a common reality that we distrust each other as a people; individually and regionally. Rather than preach the Gospel of Integration, temperance and placing our antecedents in proper perspective, Mallam Sanusi played diversionary agenda, apportioning blames to ethnic nationalities and stoke the embers of insurrection.

If not, how can any patriotic Nigerian underpin his seriously flawed essay, The Igbos, The Yoruba and History written in July 2011? In it, Sanusi pummelled two of Nigeria’s main ethnic stock – Igbo and Yoruba. Instead of concentrating on how to strengthen the country’s monetary policy, Sanusi was more at home in creating divisions and opening up otherwise healing wounds.

In that disingenuous piece, he writes of the Igbo: “The Igbo people were responsible for the first military coup in this country; They were responsible for the first attempt at ethnic cleansing; They were responsible for the first violation of constitutionally laid down succession procedures; they were responsible for the destruction of the federation and the creation of the unitary system of which they are now victims (since the initial objective was for the Igbos to dominate the other groups); they were responsible for Nigeria’s first civil war.”

He went further to accuse the Yoruba of displaying “…two consistent streaks that have consistently kept them in opposition and cost them opportunities for coming to power. The first is vanity – a dangerous state of self-delusion borne of imagined intellectual and academic superiority over opponents and rivals alike. Thus, Yoruba politicians have consistently underestimated their northern opponents who thrive on wily intrigues and far-sighted manipulation of the political process. 

“They have also assumed to their peril that other southern tribes would naturally acquiesce to their leadership and be lured into a southern alliance whose objective is to help secure supremacy and power for the south – west.”

Continuing, the now exiled CBN ‘historian’ argues that “Even the so-called Oduduwa republic assumes that the people of the former mid-west who had fought for an independent region in the sixties will willingly resubmit themselves to Yoruba domination. This is all in addition to the recent utterances of Afenifere calling for excision of the Yoruba of the north from Fulani domination, a call dismissed by a prominent northern Yoruba leader, Sunday Awoniyi, for its banality and presumptuousness.

 “The second streak is self-centredness. Of all the tribes in Nigeria who sometimes fight for parochial reasons, the Yoruba are the only group who clearly believe they are Nigeria. When they have what they want, Nigeria is good. Otherwise it is bad.” 

What more need one say of the presumptuousness of Sanusi only to ponder why it took President Goodluck Jonathan this long to shove him aside as his virulent message are even more dangerous than his emerging pilfering of the bank he was given the mandate to manage. 

It is easy to agree with those who argue that the president bids his time in his hope that public officers like Sanusi, who sit on their perch and abuse their very benefactors, will have vision of redemption and grab it with both hands. 

But with only one thing being consistent with him, Sanusi’s voice remained the most strident and the most melodramatic ever in the history of the CBN. Not based on rock solid facts or on matters that should engender confidence in the system, but on speculations and inherent Aryan mentality as if he is a Nazi.

It was not surprising that as he was consistent in fault-finding, a whinger and burnt energy in picking quarrels with his presumed enemies in Aso Rock and the NNPC, he had less time to properly pursue policies that should see to a healthy economy.

Since Sanusi preferred to see apparitions and present himself as the new Khalifa of change, despite his tainted persona, his suspension is a welcome relief as there is little doubt that he now has ample time to pursue his crystal ball seeing, fire spitting and divisive lectures and hysterical presumptions.