Why I won’t abandon Sanusi – El-Rufai

…as deposed Emir chairs LASU convocation

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, who offered Lamido Sanusi two appointments after his dethronement, said he could not leave the embattled monarch at this time.

He added that Sanusi had been with him since he was a teenager and that he (Sanusi) had never left him.

He pointed out that traditional rulers deserve respect and that in Kaduna, monarchs as the custodians of culture are respected.

Speaking on Sanusi’s freedom of movement as ruled by the court, el-Rufai, who was in Awe around 12:45 to accompany Sanusi out of the town after the court ruling, told journalists that, “I came to visit my friend and my brother, the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, and to see how he is doing and to express my support for him.”

“We have been friends since we were teenagers. He has been by my side throughout my troubles and successes and I have to be by his side throughout his own troubles and successes. We are inseparable.”

Fielding questions from journalists shortly after Friday’s Jumat prayer, he said, “As you know, the Federal High Court in Abuja today declared his detention illegal and unconstitutional and his banishment also in violation of the constitution. So, he is free.

“He can live anywhere he wants, including Kano city, if he wants. But we are on our way to Abuja. It is quite likely that the emir proceeds to Lagos which was his preferred destination from day one.

“From the day he was informed of his deposition, it was his wish to go to Lagos because some of his family members are now in Lagos. And by the grace of God we are on our way to Lagos.”

On the appointment he offered Sanusi as the vice-chairman of Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency after the dethronement, el-Rufai maintained that the emir was a global citizen with network of contacts around the world, saying he could bring a lot of investments to Kaduna State.

He said he could not offer him the position when he was emir because he should be attracting investment to Kano State but that as soon as he was available, he seized the opportunity to bring that value to Kaduna State.

On the second appointment as the Chancellor of Kaduna State University, el-Rufai, however, affirmed that it had been a practice in Nigeria for emirs to be chancellors of universities, noting that he didn’t want the emir to feel as if he had lost everything.

The governor added, “In Kaduna, we honour our traditional rulers because they are the custodians of our cultural values. We revere and respect them. So, apart from being my childhood friend, traditional rulers deserve our respect.”

Meanwhile, the deposed Emir will on March 26 chair the convocation lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, with the theme, ‘The Future of Developing Economies in a Digital World.

The lecture, according to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun is part of activities lined up to mark the institution’s 24th convocation ceremony, where a total of 8,959 will be awarded certificates in various degrees and diplomas. Announcing the choice of Sanusi as the lecture chairman at a pre-convocation briefing, Fagbohun said the choice predated the removal of the emir, adding that the deposition has also not reduced the intellectual richness of Sanusi.

He further revealed the lecture would be delivered by the president of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Benedict Oramah. He added that 76 graduands would bag first class degrees, while six distinguished Nigerians, including Oluremi Tinubu, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, and Oba Otudeko, will receive honourary doctorate degrees. Others to be honoured include Opeyemi Oke, Aderemi Makanjuola, and Segun Agbaje.

Fagbohun also disclosed that this year’s ceremony would mark his last as the institution’s Vice-Chancellor. Among those to be honoured with infrastructures name include Akin Kekere-Ekun, Bode Augusto, J. K Randle, Ademola Akesode, Jadesola Akande and Oladapo Obafunwa.

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