A first-class king is dethroned unceremoniously. To make matters worse, he is banished from his homeland; the land of his forefathers and a place where he once reigned supreme as paramount ruler. It was jolting news for the majority. The prospect of seeing a revered figure in the person of the Emir of Kano being subjected to such a treatment was not an event many envisaged, but it is no rumour. It happened.
They say the former Emir was obdurate, too vocal and arrogant. Many times, he had ruffled feathers that aren’t used to being ruffled. He was becoming larger than life. He had to go.
I have always felt that the ousted Emir and former CBN Governor deserved to be in a more pan-Nigerian position. One where his influence would be felt by every Nigerian and not just a section of the populace. I wasn’t pleased when he became Emir. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that a tested technocrat like Sanusi would jettison all his knowledge and expertise for the restricted life of a traditional ruler even though I understood he had little choice. A royal heritage cannot be revoked. He was an heir to the throne and nothing could change that.
I also wondered how someone who was so independent-minded and opinionated would fare in a role that required some measure of reticence and tact. In that light, what has happened isn’t surprising. With the powers of traditional rulers being greatly watered down and their fate in the hands of the government of the day, it was only a matter of time before egos became too big and the resultant power play recorded a casualty.
Like many, I am gutted by Sanusi’s sudden dethronement, but I choose to focus on his response to the situation. There’s something to learn from the way he has taken what could be considered a tragedy with admirable equanimity. Rather than toe the path of bitterness and vengeance, he has accepted the turn of events and gone ahead to sue for peace.
This in no way downplays the severity of what happened or suggests that Sanusi isn’t hurt. It’s an undignified exit, no doubt; no ruler or person in an exalted position desires to be remembered for being deposed so the Fulani-born economist cannot be happy about what befell him. But he hasn’t betrayed any strong emotions, and that’s the crux of this piece.
Time and again, we are reminded that nothing lasts forever. When we break our backs to attain new heights and add to our repertoire of accolades, it’s sensible to remember that they are temporary. We suppress the inclination to grab and keep or hold on tight to anything bearing in my mind that the people with whom we once found favour can turnaround to reject us in the future.
It’s the way of the world. Lovers betray lovers, parents sell children into slavery, friends renege on their promise.
When one is at the receiving end in any of these scenarios, it can be devastating.
As one who was once fired for no known reason, I have felt the searing hurt associated with an official rejection.
It’s not abstract. It is real. You hold the evidence in your hands and begin to question your essence. You wonder if you were ever good enough until you are reminded of your successes.
Sanusi knows his value is not tied to a throne regardless of how illustrious it is.
Better still, he recognises providence as a chief player in the affairs of men. It’s the only way to be at peace—being at home with any kind of loss. Keeping one’s head up despite unsavoury circumstances.
It’s a mindset everyone should adopt. Your employer says they do not need your services anymore; be sad, but dust your CV and search for a new job with renewed vigour. Your lover jilts you—mourn if you must—but make yourself even more desirable for potential love interests. You lose money; adjust your budget and devise strategies to make even more money.
As a human who has little control over external influences, you cannot afford to be too attached to anything.
You must be malleable and develop the ability to let go. You must also remember that power is fleeting. No one reigns forever. Even marriage has an expiry date; the day one of the partners exit the earth.
Prepare for eventualities; always put yourself in a position to recover from a setback within a short period.
As for Sanusi, if he cannot be king, he will stand before kings. He has earned it.