Unearthing political undertones of his actions
Group Politics Editor, Taiwo Adisa, examines the recent boom in the political image of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, ahead the 2015 calculations.
AMIDST the thick cloud that enveloped the nation in the aftermath of the June 3, 2012 crash of Dana Airlines in Lagos, where more than 153 persons lost their lives, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi decided to go ahead with his scheduled coronation as the Dan Majen of Kano. It was still a lavish traditional event, which was witnessed by political as well as top business personalities.
But the decision of the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) in the 2011 election, General Muhammadu Buhari to attend the occasion in company of the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu , immediately coloured it in political garb. Thus, what was originally and supposedly a traditional turbaning ceremony became an avenue for political posturing and immediately placed Sanusi’s actions henceforth under some political microscopes.
Meetings at the political front after the turbaning ceremony have further highlighted Sanusi as not only nursing the royal ambition of leading his people of Kano, but also perhaps brooding a political ambition or ruling the country as a democratically elected President. Sources in the political turf who have monitored the thinking of the CPC have hinted The Friday Edition that Sanusi is having the upper hand in the thinking of some strategists of the party in their forward look towards 2015 election.
Information at the disposal of The Friday Edition indicates that a section of the party actually believes that Buhari would be a hard sell in 2015 especially in view of his declaration that the 2011 contest would be his last during the electioneering campaigns of that year. Such strategists were said to have posited that if Buhari comes around to seek election in 2015, the opposition would easily brand him as unreliable and a leader whose word cannot be his bound. In line with that thinking, the group was said to have commenced a search for a Northerner who can be endorsed by Buhari and who would be acceptable to the North in its bid to seize power from the South South. Such analyses were said to have yielded Sanusi ahead of another young Northern Turk, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai, who has integrated himself into the CPC structure.
Although there are two broad thinking within the CPC as far as 2015 is concerned, feelers have confirmed that whether with the CPC or not, Sanusi is already been seen as a veritable challenger to the Presidency come 2015. A section of the CPC believe actually that Buhari can still be persuaded to contest the 2015 election alongside Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in what could be a Muslim/Muslim ticket in line with what was seen in the June 12, 1993 election that produced Chief MKO Abiola and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe as Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of that election. Those in that category want the ongoing alliance talks between the CPC and ACCN concluded in not time so as to guarantee a merger between the two parties and a flag off of the Buhari-Tinubu agenda. There opinion however conflicts with those who believe that Buhari will not only be too old for electoral contest in 2015, he would also have become a frequent face on the ballot with lots of Nigerians expectedly getting lethargic about his unchanging message.
Somehow, the merger plans between the CPC and ACN ran into troubled waters following concerns among some leaders of the CPC about the sincerity of Tinubu in the whole agenda. Besides, there is the fear that Tinubu is already nursing the belief that he has more to gain if the agreement between his party and President Goodluck Jonathan in the build up to the 2011 election is revitalized. The fear that Tinubu might have opened a fresh front with President Jonathan was said to have informed the clamour against what is called “blind agreement” which is being pursued by Buhari.
Some leaders of the CPC have blocked the merger talks with the ACN on account of the necessity to sign a proper and workable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and avoid entering into a “blind agreement.” Such CPC leaders have also voiced out there opinio9n that Buhari would be free to join the ACN alone if he wants to enter into a blind agreement.
The crisis in the CPC notwithstanding, feelers in the political circles indicate that those who championing the argument that Buhari rethinks his 2015 agenda appear to be winning the argument. In that line, many are already touting Sanusi as the likely presidential hopeful of the CPC. Though his adoption could further endanger the planned CPC/ACN merger talks, as it would immediately threaten Tinubu’s alleged vice Presidential hope, since many have said he would not serve under a younger person as President, the feeling within the CPC is that the party should go it alone with its choice of Sanusi. Sanusi was appointed CBN Governor on June 3, 2009 and his term comes to an end in 2014.
Apart from his popularity in the economic circles, Sanusi is said to be fast emerging a rallying point for many Northern political figures, who are of the belief that his pro-North agenda is unshakable.
His qualities were copiously heralded by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, when he was being turbaned as Dan Majen, Kano. The monarch said: “We have installed you, Dan Majen Kano, in recognition of your experience and exposure as well as your good character. We are aware of your good work not only in Nigeria but also abroad. We are also aware of your patriotism and cordial relationship with the people including your support to the less privileged, plus your effort at reviving the economy and urge you not to relent on your good work.”
But political exposure for a serving CBN Governor could blow either positive or negative winds. Already, some politicians are said to be reading meanings to every step Sanusi takes as the nation’s apex banker since the news of his romance with key opposition figures broke. Some would want the policies of the bank led by Sanusi interpreted in political tones and such could be dangerous for the economy. For instance, some discussants on the political turf have questioned some of the controversial decisions of the CBN under Sanusi and x-ray whether some of such decisions were not undertaken to weaken the popularity of the government in power. A politician told The Friday Edition that there should be huge questions on why the CBN decided to sack some bank chiefs and nationalized the banks, leading to the loss of over 10,000 jobs. He said that such loss of job would eventually become a political burden on the doorsteps of President Jonathan.
In another vein, a politician would also raise question marks to the decision to inject N620 billion into the failed banks without appropriation and see such as an unusual drain pipe. Somehow, Sanusi presented a veritable tool for his critics earlier in the year when he announced donation of N100 million to victims of violent attacks by suspected Boko Haram members in Kano. Criticisms of such donation forced the CBN Governor to make similar donations to bomb blast victims in Suleja and Abuja.
Is Sanusi mixing economics and politics in disproportionate terms? That is a question for his employers to answer. But the fact remains that political exposures could be misread easily and eventually become counter- productive to a serving apex banker.Share