The Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, has been embroiled in issues over his kingdom and the extent of his true powers. In a moral equivalent of a street fight with the sitting governor, Umar Ganduje, Sanusi was forced out of the ring with a bleeding nose, if not battered face. In this first round, Sanusi’s suzerainty has been shredded into bits. And four-fifths of those are now doled out to former dukes, who are now made his equals. Today, as things are, Sanusi is, literally, a minor prince. Yet, this is morning on the warring day. And it is a battle, a war, that is billed to be a marathon. We fear for Kano. We fear for the underlings.
But in all these Sanusi travails, something positive showed up. Even unlikely people came to his defense. For instance, Ms. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, managing director of a cable television brand, thought it prudent to wade into the fierce Kano wars. Nwogwugwu’s forte, as her readers know, are about things financial. However, she veered off her lanes and wrote in an oped piece: “Besides, insofar as he is not turning the truth on its head, Sanusi, like any Nigerian, should not be hounded and gagged for speaking truth to power … Sanusi and Saraki are just two of the metaphorical reindeers caught in the headlights. Many more will follow.” https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2019/05/13/apcs-use-and-dump-syndrome/
Sanusi speaking truth to power? But who is power? Is Sanusi not, root and branch, power? So, at best, what is really happening can be considered a palace mutiny. It is definitely not one faction of power speaking truth to power. Men in power, Sanusi not excluded, don’t plead or petition for the truth. They, one and all, hunt for power and are haunted by it. But we have to understand these things. That’s the way that attorneys make their defense.
And Nwogwugwu was not alone. A small army of moralists and sundry defenders erupted like rashes on a diseased flesh. They were all in the game of playing to Sanusi’s “unsolicite” defense aid. And this from all over the country. It is true some others did hit back at him, the firebrand populist, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, is one, the general trend, if not cacophony, is that Sanusi was being victimised. The point here is not whether the narrative is true or not. The point is that Sanusi in his travails can count on friends. And how “spontaneous” the support of these friends was shows that they are acting out of a sense of solidarity and fellow feeling. This is without dismissing that these men and women may have been Sanusi flunkies and retainers in earlier incarnations.
Sanusi was before being an emir a well-rounded mighty man of power and privilege. He had, for example, been chief executive officer of Nigeria’s premier financial brand, First Bank Plc. And from that exalted position, Sanusi leaped up to become the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. These were princely positions with humungous patronage bulges and budgets to match. Having said this, the fact that, in his direst hour of need, Sanusi had “volunteer” supporters and cheer leaders, shows he is a true prince of power. He was not just born into it, he knows it by practice. By the fact of that “involuntary” rally, Sanusi plus or minus is a definitive prince, the type Machiavelli would have envied. A key privilege of being prince is in having men and the women, reflexively, rally to your standard whatever the battle. The gratifications and spoils may come, but they are not immediate or transactional. That is how a true prince rules. That is, counter-intuitively, from a roundtable, not a throne.
Now, the “Prince” Sanusi experience runs in marked contrast to the circus and trials of Barrister Olisa Metuh. Lest we have forgotten, Metuh was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hired motor-mouth. And that was during the President Goodluck Jonathan era. The point is, during those years Metuh acted as spokesman, he had enough budget to be taken as a principality, a commercial and political prince of power. Of course, a prince is as princely as his purse or patronage. As it is said, hegemony is hege-money. And Metuh had it all. Or so we thought, or figures as released were later to suggest. Boy, things happen. Ahiazuwa.
So, a question is indicated: who were Metuh’s retainers while he was lord of the PDP public relations machine, while he was a prince of the manor, the PR manor? Or could it be that Metuh had none, that Metuh did the job alone, without allies and retainers? Or was it that Metuh was a plebian all through his being, a plebian, sole to soul? That is to say that Metuh didn’t know how to play prince, how to cultivate loyalty beyond purchase prices? In other words, Metuh, like all coolies who came to sudden wealth and power, was transactional and couldn’t build relationships? Or was it that Metuh, untutored in the wily ways of nature, thought that there would always be Sunday, seven times a week, and for him alone? These are questions to which we have no immediate answers.
So, while we weep for Jerusalem, let us also drop a tear for Olisa Metuh. As we write, there is not even the least din in support of the star-crossed Metuh as he languishes in hell or higher havens. Where exactly is Metuh by the way? Dear reader, would you know?
Anyway, the only sense of pity on register for Metuh was from his ancestral connections in downtown Nnewi. And that makes matters worse. This is because what Metuh had was a national assignment and resources to match. So, how come his only sympathizers come from his native laager? Did Metuh shrink so local, so minimised, in his broad national assignments? These are questions. Or perhaps, it is that Metuh was plebian enough he didn’t learn to reach out, to be ecumenical, while he was a prince of power, while it mattered most? Or perhaps, the world as Metuh knows it is full of betrayers and such stool-pigeons? Or that in being a lucky man who just made it as prince, a prince of power and bulges, Metuh wanted a throne, Metuh forsook the roundtable? He wanted to be prince alone, ala Rashidi Yekini? You remember the moral of the goal merchant? Yekini thought goal-scoring was a solo run. And on winning his cash prices for tournament goals, Yekinni turned those into a personal throne, not a roundtable. He excluded others while it mattered most.
And his teammates remembered. And in the subsequent matches, they starved him of chances. And Yekini, despite his golden legs, could score no new goals. And Yekini, a prince of the pitch, turned up a plebian without scores, without balls? Yekinni was gelded. Boy, things happen.
Meanwhile, as we weep for Jerusalem and the dead of Biafra, especially at Abagana, where I was severely shot for dead, let us also tear up for Metuh. The world goes round more smoothly via relationships than transactions. As the Beatles sang, all you need is love, or relationships, not transacts. In other words, metu mara ibe. All else is humour. Ahiazuwa.
Imo and the lights are coming on?
The tragedy of Okorocha’s administration is not material. That he built or didn’t build a single road is not in issue. Okorocha got it completely wrong on one note. And that one note was like the Christian sin against the Holy Ghost. It is not forgivable.
Okorocha’s unforgivable sin was that he conspired to turn the public estate into a family holding. That he was so shameless about it is not even the issue, as folks sometimes rationalise. The real horror is that he thought of such at all. And that in and amidst a free, republican and proud peoples.
To give an example: The sheer insanity of a man asking his unelected and largely unelectable wife to supervise four governmental ministries is beyond contemplation. So, the question is not whether Nkechi Okorocha, for such was her name, did a good job. The point is Ms. Okorocha had no business doing Imo business. And to next suggest that his son in-law…
Anyway, Okorocha is gone. Anyway, Okorocha is now a model, an anti-model. So, the best game for the new governor is to spread and scatter his appointments all across Imo. The point is that it pays best. As the old saw says: nothing for us without us.
And congratulations to Steve Osuji on his appointment as media chief to Ihedioha. Osuji is one of the most level-headed and competent brand names in the trade. We wish him and the new government the best espresso they can serve Imo people, news-wise and, more so, governance-wise. Ahiazuwa.