Opinion: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, A Religious and Social Reformer in A Wrong Region


By Dauda Abubakar



Northern Nigeria is a region that today faced with many challenges and backwardness. 80% of northerners leave under severe poverty, illiteracy and insecurity.

The chunk of worst politicians who care only about themselves dominate northern Nigerian politics. Unemployment and youths that are unemployable fill the streets of cities in northern Nigeria. Insecurity, prostitution among young girls, drug abuse and cultism has increased in the north unlike it wasmore   20 years ago.

Research shows that at least 70% of the youths in the north are into drug, cultism, theft/street and robbery and prostitution. This is apart from the deplorable living standard, which has forced many rich people into the class of the poor because of badly executed economic policies. Yet the north has the highest marriage and birth rate, with children aged 7 and above roaming the streets begging for food in the name of religious education (almajiri).

Surprisingly, scholars and the clergy who are supposed to mold the society for a better future have become egoistic and taken to material accumulation hoping to better the future of only their children.

The situation is worsening everyday, yet nobody among the elites, politicians or the clergy cares and no one is willing to do something to improve on the dearth of ideological perspective nor improve their living conditions. Mostly people carelessly go about their businesses without any concern. Its like living comfortably in a ship that is gradually sinking inside an ocean and no one cares.

Muslims and Christians who live in the north are pitched against one another and they hate, fight and kill one another while the state politicians enjoy the state’s booty and live flamboyant lifestyles.

Ex Emir of Kano, Sanisi Lamido Sanusi ii


Everyday now and then one form of challenge confront the people; yesterday it was Boko Haram and Muslim-Christian conflicts and today it is kidnapping, banditry and cultism.

Suddenly, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, SLS, a reformer emerged to enlighten the lower class to stand up and confront their situation for a better future of northern Nigeria. Behold, most elites do not even understand the language of the reformer and the common people do not give heed like they did to situation of reformers in centuries past. Common people are usually like flock of sheep. The only language they understand is their belly, and when its full nobody cares about anything. It is intellectuals that think about the future of any community.

The reformer (SLS) first acquired enough knowledge of the world he found himself including being versed in religious and situational knowledge; he is indeed a gifted soul that many nations will wish to have as a citizen. Surprisingly, the reformer emerged within the elite class and by the virtue of his birth and the positions he has held, poverty can never be an issue for him.

Yet he appeared to be concerned about the deplorable economic and intellectual situation of his people. Knowing the history of reformers, one will quickly expect that the poor whose concern is only their belly will not be concerned about him and his thoughts, politicians will detest him because to them enlightening the poor populace means end of business and political monopoly.  The elites and scholars would definitely not like him because his presence and ideas put them in the shade.

And of course, all reformers faced persecution by politicians of their time. But also, hope is not lost. Now with SLS dethronement, the whole world has become aware of him and people within and outside Nigeria are beginning to look up and are trying to understand “who is this personality and what does he stand for.” Reformers are usually fearless and do not care.

Unfortunately, the reformer seem to appear in a region that is experiencing intellectual dearth. People do not like to be criticised whereas the reformer understand that criticism is the first step towards providing solution to problems.

So, the politicians in the north who try less to improve the well-being of the poor would want to use Shari’a to control their lives. He criticised poverty so northerners should know their condition and give it the deserved attention for improvement. He highlighted the plight of women and those to whom they are subjects of pleasure felt denied of such pleasures. He criticised politicians for their only interest in booty in order to open the eyes of the people.

In fact, the condition in northern Nigeria is ripe and yearning for a reformer otherwise, there is no hope for the people. SLS filled that gap for the people. We are behind you my hero and will continue to support your effort for the betterment of northern Nigeria. May Allah continue to make you shine. I am not concern at all about Ganduje and his likes nor see them as obstacles.

In fact, I refused to congratulate a friend who benefit from the millions Ganduje gave them at the Kano INEC office to forced his way into office. He is living in constant fear and its always worst if the likes of Sanusi hold a high position in Kano. But its too late. Fortunately, Ganduje cannot control the future and am very sure the Kano people are waiting for him and his Oga at the top at the exit point. We wait to see the reception Sanusi will receive in Kano after three years when Ganduje’s tenure ends


Abubakar wrote from the University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State