Nigerians were taken aback when respected Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, was dethroned and replaced by his predecessor’s son, Aminu Ado Bayero. Sanusi and Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, hardly ever agreed on anything, but most people didn’t predict that it would get this serious.
In 2007, Sanusi’s daughter, Shahida, gave a powerful speech at the first Annual Chibok Girls Lecture in Abuja that suggested that she knew her father could be dethroned. In the speech, she stressed that despite her father’s desire to remain an Emir for the rest of his life, he would never trade his conscience for it.
She narrated: “My father never fails to fight. He fights for progress, liberty, justice and equality. So those people that think they know my father should know that he will never be silenced by blackmail and intimidation. He lost his position once when he was suspended from CBN. I don’t know if you can remember the famous quote when he said you can suspend a man but you cannot suspend the truth. Whenever confronted with the choice of what is right and popular, you must always do the right thing. He taught us and I know he doesn’t mind being the most unpopular Emir so long as he speaks the truth.
“As for the throne, he always says it is God who gives power and only He can take it away. When God says your time is up, it is up. But before then, no one can do anything to you. I am sure he will like to remain an Emir for the rest of his life as it was all he wanted to be but I know he would not at all cost.”
According to her, integrity started making sense to her when Sanusi was given an award as a Man of Integrity. Shahida added: “It is about doing the right thing no matter the consequences. I know if my father has to choose between the throne and his conscience, he will give up the throne. He has already accomplished his ambition of succeeding his forefathers and frankly he is the same person I know as a banker and CBN governor. As an Emir, he has not changed and he will be the same person even as an ex-Emir if he comes to that. But he will never be silent. Whether he is in the arena or not, this is our battle to fight…”