Sanusi has been quoted as saying “We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion.” in response to attacks which Nigerian officials allege are by Boko Haram.
Banker v Boko
From inflation targeter to insurgent target
Dec 6th 2014 | LAGOS | From the print edition
LAMIDO Sanusi was never afraid of offending. “I love controversy”, the Muslim leader said earlier this year. “If you think there has to be change…you need to step on a few toes.”
Mr Sanusi lived by that mantra as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, embracing reform and rooting out corruption. He was sacked in February after claiming that some $20 billion of oil revenues had gone missing from government coffers. The powers-that-be were irked when, only four months later, he was made emir of Kano.
Emirs, traditional leaders of the north, wield great influence and the Kano post is the second-highest ranking of all. They usually stay out of politics. But once installed in his palace, Mr Sanusi has been catapulted back to the centre of another national crisis: this time, the insurgency in Nigeria’s north. He caused a stir last month by calling on Nigerians to arm themselves against the Boko Haram insurgents waging jihad on the state. Residents should not wait for help from the military, he was reported as saying. They should “acquire what they need to protect themselves”. Police angrily said this was a “call for anarchy”.
Civilians are already playing an active role in fighting the insurgents through local vigilante groups. Mr Sanusi echoed a growing feeling among politicians that, as the military fails, arming civilians may be the best way to secure the north, said one well-placed analyst who requested anonymity.