Opinion

Like Ese Oruru, Like Lamido Sanusi

By Ayo Lijadu

irisaypro@yahoo.co.uk  08033262809

“The kidnapping of Ese Rita Oruru, the youngest child of Charles Oruru and Rose Oruru, occurred on 12 August 2015 at her mother’s shop in Yenagoa local government area, Bayelsa State. Ese, who was 13 years old at the time, was abducted by a man named Yunusa Dahiru (alias Yellow) and taken to Kano, where she was raped, forcibly Islamized and married off without her parents consent. The conversion and marriage took place in the palace of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.” – Culled from Wikipedia

A few days ago, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, erstwhile Emir of Kano, was also forcefully removed from his opulent palace where, five years earlier, Ese was forcefully converted to Islam and married, without her consent or that of her parents, to one of his subjects, UNDER HIS WATCH!

Since his dethronement, there has been a cacophony of voices eulogising to the high heavens, the quintessential qualities of the man, Sanusi; what an exemplary reformer he is and a fighter for the oppressed and downtrodden talakawas and almajiris of the north; a fighter and defender of the girl child and female gender; what a blessing he is, not only to the North, his region of origin, but to Nigeria as a whole. 

Many, have even started to canvass that he is a worthy material for President, come 2023!

We are indeed a people with such stunted, retarded, and diminishing memories and muddled up and diluted principles; fickle, and lacking in morals and integrity, who abhor upholding the truth and standing by it at ALL times. 

A man, a leader, an exalted and revered king such as Sanusi was at the time of the Ese Oruru illegal and criminal abduction, forceful faith conversion and marriage, who could have, by fiat, ordered the immediate return of the girl to her parents, and prevented such criminal, and ungodly acts within his palace, the headquarters of his domain in which he was the ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY, did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, until overwhelming public outcry compelled him to make a reluctant intervention, after which the poor hapless girl was returned to her parents. By then, of course, she had already been severally sexually violated and impregnated. 

Even the Inspector General of police at the time, Solomon Arase, when confronted with the Nigerian Police criminal negligence and seeming acquiescence and reluctance to effect the release of Ese Oruru from the Emir’s palace at the time, was reported in The Punch to have confessed to being powerless to do so without the Emir Sanusi’s intervention. Hear The Punch: “The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, says the release of the 14-year-old girl, Ese Oruru, allegedly abducted from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to Kano and said to be in the palace of the Emir of Kano, was dependent on the intervention of the Emir”.

It is this same deposed Emir that thoughtless people, even those you respect as highly cerebral, introspective, and current with recent history, are singing his praises and vaunting as a reformer, intellectual, and progressive. Where did Sanusi throw all these ‘progressive qualities’ when a hapless, helpless, and hopeless girl was thrown virtually at his mercy, before his all powerful and royal majesty? If not that he is an Islamic extremist who sees nothing wrong in the forceful conversion and forceful marriage of an underaged girl simply because she is ‘kaferi’, with no rights, shouldn’t his “reformist”,  “intellectual” and “progressive” instincts have galvanized him into speedy and urgent intervention on behalf of the poor girl the very moment he heard of  her plight? 

Even if the above vaunted qualities were in short supply or absolutely comatose in him as of that time, what about the natural sympathetic fatherly instinct that any parent must have, regardless of whether the subject matter is your biological child or not?

Recently, I saw a video of one of the former Emir’s daughters speaking so eloquently and glowingly about her father’s qualities. As a father, how would Sanusi had felt if a Yoruba trader in Kano, for example, had abducted this young lady, or any of his other daughters at the same age of thirteen, and whisked her hundreds of kilometers from Kano to as far away as Okitipupa, forced her to renounce Islam and accept Christianity, raped her, and forced her into a marriage that her parents did not sanction? I shudder to think of what would have been the repercussion of such folly, what bloody carnage would have been unleashed on not only people of Yoruba extraction resident in Kano, but of all other southern ethnic tribes resident in that city, if not the entire north.

Just like they whitewashed Buhari, a known religious bigot, autocratic ruler, and ethnic irredentist, who publicly declared that he would do everything in his power to see that Sharia is established everywhere across Nigeria, and presented him as a born again democrat ahead of the 2015 elections, some of these same people, sadly southern so called intellectuals and elites, are now surreptitiously bombarding our sensibilities with Sanusi’s so called high morals, integrity, and reformist credentials, and have started suggesting him as a possible presidential material ahead of the 2023 elections. 

For so long as we have such short sighted, moronic, and shallow thinkers among us in the South, for so long shall the more educated, so called more enlightened South continue to be slaves to the largely uneducated and backward North whose elites, notwithstanding, are without doubt more cunning, more deceptive, and more politically savvy and calculating than their southern counterparts.

In 2015, Ese Eruru was forcefully abducted from her home and relocated to former Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s palace where she underwent indignities at a tender age, which indignities the former Emir could have saved her from very early, if he so wished, but did not, and was probably even complicit. 

Ese was completely innocent. 

Five years later, Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was banished from the throne and also forcefully removed from Kano to a little known town called Awe, in Nassarawa State, and equally subjected to indignities. 

Sanusi, unlike Ese, the child, was not completely innocent of his travails. 

Many have sighted Sanusi’s many sins, the most grievous but swept under the carpet by the Nigerian State being his alleged culpability in the beheading of the Igbo trader, Gideon Akaluka, and parading his severed head on a spike around the streets of Kano in December 26, 1994, as being the factors that have led him to this shameful descent.

No, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Emir of Kano, is not the innocent politically witch hunted shining star that gullible southerners with slavish mentality would like to sell to the rest of us as a presidential material ahead of 2023. The ignoble dethronement and indignities he just experienced was Karma serving him dinner – a la carte. 

Who knows, the dessert may still be coming. 

Karma is a patient bitch.

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