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Nigerians dealing with an anti-intellectual elite – Sanusi II

 News By: adekunle    Friday, April 14, 2017


Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA – Days after he faced a barrage of subtle criticisms from some highly-placed public officials in the country over his continued indictment of the political class on issues of poverty and disease in the north, Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II has elected to press on with his fierce interventions, saying he will not be cowed into silence.

“These attacks are aimed at diverting attention from the issues raised and all of us who are involved in this struggle must remember a few things. We are dealing with an anti-intellectual environment, and with people whose failure has bred a sense of insecurity which leads to incomprehensible, almost insane, reactions to simple advice”, the emir said.

The emir had recently chided the Zamfara state governor, Abubakar Yari for “blaming” God for the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis in the state. He had equally blamed years of misrule by northern leaders for the sickening poverty rate in the region.

Sanusi spoke Friday in Abuja at the inaugural anniversary lecture organized by the Bring Back Our Girls BBOG movement to mark the three years of abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok, Borno state.

In a video message to the occasion, Sanusi said; “There has been a lot of noise about my recent interventions in the public space, but I am not worried. I am used to it, but I am worried because of the dimension it has taken. It is a distraction”.

Noting that his interventions are not politically-motivated attacks on any group, he urged Nigerians to not succumb to the temptation of joining their opponents in the gutter, charging them to heed to Michelle Obama’s counsel, “when they go low, we go high”.

“The poor people for whom you fight are voiceless by necessity. Those of us who are fortunate to be part of the elite and who choose not to speak for them are voiceless by choice.

“Do not be intimidated. Do not be silenced. Do not betray your conscience or sell your soul. Do not fear any human being. Stand up and take all the bullets that are fired at you but never kneel down. If you have to die, please die standing and not on your knees. Most important, ignore the noise. Do not defend yourself too much against personal attacks because they want your person, not the issues you raise, to be discussed”, the former apex bank boss counselled.