By Salim I. Hassan (Salimullah)
May God bless the emir and forgive his shortcomings. “He is him of his own word….he fears not the pen of the critics in the face of the truth he professes…. He is a vibrant ‘Mutafanni’ intellectual, a Banker, an administrator, a leader and a scholar indeed. Bilingual Speaker and writer, versatile in knowledge, an authority in Shari’ah, economy and finance. The one who knows how to influence, motivate and create action point among those under him and whosoever follows him. He was the defender and saviour of Shariah in the 1999 debate who had challenged and defeated the enemies throughout the media”.
This is how I described this man in my article titled: “My Best man of The Year 2016”.
Some had described him as controversial, secularist, capitalist and even enemy of the North, all for he dared to express the truth from the bottom of his heart. We are not always following the prophetic model in our manners when we disagree with one another. Some have taking it their daily hobbies criticizing other’s opinion, too often not intending to bring better alternative to it but to express themselves as professional writers and critics who can criticize and destroy others view when and how they so wish. They turn any new opinion into a threat to unity, society and its development. They suspend Islamic manners on Adab al-Ikhtilaf (Etiquette of Differing) and indulge in their sel-acclaimed behavior and make the discussion atmosphere to become saturated with backbiting, slander, rumours, accusations, lying, and character assassination.
To this group of people I tell them: They should realize that the Emir Sunusi’s ‘Expression’ is not necessarily the ‘Impression they get from him. There do exist a gap between what he mean and what this group of Character Assassinators understand. Ours is to reduce this gap to a minimum; the smaller it is the more successful the Emir is delivering his message.
Although few of his critics have managed to be fair to him, like Hamisu Hadejia who also described him as a Philosopher King, some have gone far to make the Emir the victim of character assassination, so much so that they claimed the Emir to have had changed his name from Sunusi Lamido Sunusi to Muhammad Sunusi II for him to start life afresh, as if he has an untold bad record of service, character and or morality.
It is natural to be stereotyped as controversial. Try to be expressive in your truth even if you are alone. This has been a unique character of the emir. You can find only few people of his calibre. He is very assertive in his opinion to the core. None of his opinions fall shorter than yours.
They accused him of being too noisy in the media. This is how the Islamic leader should be. Being expressive (speech and writing) is among the 25 qualities of good leader. This man has been an intellectual writer and speaker; therefore you cannot expect him to drop his pen and tie his tongue just because he is now an Emir. In fact, he is in the right position to do it even much. No blame!
They accused him of planning to burry polygamy. This is not a law passed single handedly by the emir; it was just a proposal and he observed Islamic protocol of Shura (mutual consultation) before forwarding this proposal. No blame on him!.
The emir was right when he responded to Gov. Yari as thus: “Don’t give these kind of explanations. “That is not an Islamically correct statement to make.”“(If) you don’t have vaccines, you don’t have vaccines; Go and get vaccines.”
He was also right when he said that“The North East and the North West of Nigeria are amongst the poorest parts of the WORLD. Not just Nigeria. If Borno and Yobe were countries, they’d be poorer than Niger and Chad.
He was even more right when he said that “The Federal Government of Nigeria is spending 66 percent of its revenues on interests on debts, which means only 34 percent of revenues is available for capital and recurrent expenditures….. “That model cannot work. If you look at the 2017 budget of the Federal Government, I sometimes wonder what Nigerian economists are doing?
May Allah bless the Emir and forgive his shortcomings once again. Go on Emir with your thoughts and ideas. The tirades of character assassinators will not deter you.
Console yourself with what Allah consoles his messenger (s.a.w): “It is by God’s grace that you deal gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have broken away from you. Therefore, pardon them and pray for them to be forgiven and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs. When you have resolved about a course of action, put your trust in God. God loves those who put their trust in Him. (Al-imran v.159).