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Elnathan John: The Passport Of Mallam Sanusi Lamido



I want it to be on record that I congratulated His Royal Highness, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Emir of Kano, ex-Central Bank Governor, and ex-bow tie addict. I also want it on record that at the time of writing this article my soon-to-be-predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, has not yet congratulated the new Emir. And if there is any reason you should be suspicious of Jonathan come 2015 it is that a man who cannot even fake happiness for his neighbour’s success is a man you should be afraid of.

Many others have congratulated the new Emir of Kano. One of the first to do this was the unofficial Emir of Twitter and ‘certified ruffler of feathers’, Nasir E-lrufai. (I hear Nasir wants to be governor of my state and hasn’t even thought to tell me- I will deal with this another time. Today is for another diminutive man.) But while Malam Nasir might be ecstatic about his friend Sanusi’s ascension to the throne I am not. Please be patient while I explain.
When I become president I would have to take off my shoes in his palace. If there is one part of my body I am self-conscious about (apart from my newly acquired beer belly), it is my feet. Not that my feet smell when I take off my shoes. (Ok, yes my feet smell, but that is not the point.) I lost all my toe nails growing up so if you took a picture of just my feet, you could swear they belonged to a seventy year old man. In fact I used to avoid houses where I knew I would have to take off my shoes (before I discovered socks, that is).
Sanusi’s ascension to the throne has put a lot of people out of business. Of these many people I am most concerned about the person who used to sell him bow ties. One day the man was supplying dozens of expensive bow ties, and in one act of Kwankwasiyya rebellion, this bow tie dealer has to find something else to sell. Think also of the many young professionals and persons who began wearing bow ties because Sanusi made it fashionable. In fact, as a former critic of bow ties myself I can say that pre-Emir Sanusi cured me. I used to say that bow ties should only be worn by waiters and for special dinners. No one can tell the full impact of Governor Kwankwaso’s act of rebellion on Nigeria’s bow tie economy. And with the recent rebasing of our economy that made us leapfrog into first place ahead of people with better electricity, roads, healthcare, schools, wines, and vuvuzelas, the sudden deletion of bow ties from our national life is a threat.
However the least Jonathan could have done was send a congratulatory message. He could have called me to accompany him if he was too ashamed to go. Even a half-hearted one-liner would have sufficed. Like:
“Well done Sanusi.”
“Well done my boy.”
“We can’t question God.”
“I don’t know why God is doing this to me but congrats.”
“Your hustle cannot truncate my hustle, so, enjoy.”
“Enjoy your hot Emir’s regalia.”
“Good luck ruling Kano.”
“Good luck.”
I am just saying this because I don’t want to inherit an irritated emir of the largest and richest emirate in Nigeria. Jonathan should make peace with Sanusi for the sake of my presidency. I would do the same for him.
Now to the nagging issue of the passport of Emir Sanusi. Jonathan can very easily solve this issue of him not congratulating Sanusi by inviting the new emir to go to the Nigerian Immigration office for a new international passport in lieu of the one seized at Kano International Airport in May. Jonathan can say that they want to take a new photo of him with his turban because it is a shameful thing for anyone to see the emir’s naked head. This can be done quietly. Or if Jonathan wants to brag about it, he can invite newsmen and hand over the new passport himself. Because as president I don’t want to be dragged into issues of the previous presidency. I will be busy planning the invasion of a small European country.
Speaking of traditional titles, Stella “armoured cars” Oduah was in Ogbaru in Anambra to receive the title of Ada Eze Chukwu conferred by the traditional rulers from Anambra North. I also want to congratulate her. It is not easy to go from being probed to being crowned. I wish her a long and fruitful reign. May her hustle never be truncated (again).
Ps. I have spent the last couple of weeks in Germany and let’s just say citizens will have to bear with me if in 2015 I ban sausages in Nigeria.
Ps. 2 Over 60 days have passed. The children of North-Eastern Nigeria still get kidnapped. They still live horrid lives in conditions beyond our imagination, with men who do not hesitate to kill or rape or maim. Is it too much to ask that our government stop hinting at knowing the sponsors and actually track down these funders of terror? Is it too much to ask that someone does something serious and secures the release of the girls (and boys) held by militants?
Opinion written by Elnathan John, an Abuja based writer.. Article culled from his blog


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