If you follow the news like I do, you would no doubt have read the latest “mis-speak” by Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the international award-winning Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria which was published on the upper column of the front page of Thisday newspaper of Saturday, 28th January, 2012. If you did not read the story, below is the internet link to access it:
Expectedly, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi later refuted the Thisday story on Sunday, 29th January, 2012, claiming that he was “misquoted”. Here again is the internet link to access the story:
But, as any discerning reader can easily tell, Sanusi’s rebuttal was feeble, baseless and a mere, inconsequential, after-thought. A man speaks from the abundance of his heart. He may regret saying something or wish he had said it in a more refined way, but what a man says is really what he meant to say! It is straight from the heart. Sanusi’s rebuttal should have actually been about the Financial Times story published last Thursday, 26th January, 2012, not the Thisday story which was culled from it.
Part of the Financial Times story reads: “ “There is clearly a direct link between the very uneven nature of distribution of resources and the rising level of violence,” Mr Sanusi told the Financial Times in an interview, arguing that it was now necessary to focus funds on regenerating other regions if Nigeria wants to secure long-term stability”. “
The error of Thisday as perceived by Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi may have been because the newspaper used the obviously offensive word “Derivation” in its caption of the story since the paper accurately captured all Sanusi told Financial Times of London.
Permit me to reproduce the full Financial Times story here to help put things in context:Attempts to redress historic grievances in Nigeria’s oil-rich south may inadvertently have helped create the conditions for the Islamic insurgency spreading from the impoverished north-east of the country, says Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s central bank governor.
In the past year, the Boko Haram sect has been responsible for proliferating attacks on churches, police stations and other state targets. Last week, it claimed responsibility for multiple bomb blasts which claimed nearly 200 lives in t e northern city of Kano. The size and sophistication of the attacks underlined fears that the conflict is spiraling out of control.
“There is clearly a direct link between the very uneven nature of distribution of resources and the rising level of violence,” Mr. Sanusi told the Financial Times in an interview, arguing that it was now necessary to focus funds on regenerating other regions if Nigeria wants to secure long-term stability.
Oil-producing areas in the predominantly Christian south benefit from 13 per cent of the revenues generated from oil in their area, on top of the federal allocations they and other states receive. As world oil prices have risen over the past decade, this has led to a widening gulf in income between oil-producing states and those without oil. The commercial capital Lagos, which raises 75 per cent of its own revenue from taxes, is the exception.
This formula was introduced after the military relinquished power in 1999 among a series of measures aimed at redressing historic grievances among those living closest to the oil and quelling a conflict that was jeopardising output.
But by seeking to address one problem, Nigeria may have created another, weakening other states in the federation and fostering resentment in the poorest region which has spawned the Boko Haram sect.
“When you look at the figures and look at the size of the population in the north you can see there is a structural imbalance of enormous proportions,” Mr. Sanusi said. “Those states simply do not have enough money to meet basic needs while some states have too much money.”
According to official figures, the leading oil producing state, Rivers, received N1,053bn between 1999 and 2008 in federal allocations. By contrast the north-eastern states of Yobe and Borno, where the Boko Haram sect was created, received N175bn and N213bn respectively. Broken down on a per capita basis, the contrast is even starker. In 2008 the 18.97m people who lived in the six states in the north-east received on average N1,156 per person.
By contrast Rivers state was allocated N3,965 per capita, and on average the oil producing South- South region received on average N3,332 per capita.
This imbalance is compounded when the cost of an amnesty programme for militants in the delta is included together with an additional 1 per cent for a special development body for the Niger delta. To boot, the theft of oil by profiteers in the region diverts tens of millions more weekly from federal coffers.
The imbalance is so stark, he added, because the state still depends on oil for more than 80 per cent of its revenues. Nigeria has made little headway raising taxes for example from agriculture, which accounts for 42 per cent of GDP.
Inhabitants of the delta tend to have little sympathy with complaints about the revenue formula, given that Nigeria was ruled and at times plundered for much of the four decades after independence by northern leaders. Indeed, state governors from the region are now lobbying for an even greater share of oil revenues – in some cases they believe it should be as high as 50 per cent.
Northern Nigeria’s economy has traditionally depended on the government more than the south. Many of the industries set up as part of earlier efforts to promote national balance have gone bust or been sold off during a decade of liberal market reforms, power shortages and infrastructure collapse.
The north’s inhabitants, although more numerous, are also among the poorest in Africa, and therefore represent a less attractive market for the banks, telecoms and retail companies booming in pockets of comparative affluence in Nigeria’s south. “We now need some sort of Marshall plan for these areas so we can begin to regenerate industrialisation,” Mr. Sanusi argued.
I am very concerned about Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Nigerians should be worried about him. Most people really do not know this man and how very dangerous he really is. He is one of those championing the idea, which is now gaining momentum, that Boko Haram is the consequence of “poverty and unfair national revenue distribution”. This is false and a well-articulated disinformation by the powerful sponsors, financiers, organisers and supporters of Boko Haram. And they have successfully sold this lie especially in the American media with people like Ambassador John Campbell pretending to be the authority on Nigeria at the United States’ Council of Foreign Relations because of his stint in our country as the American Ambassador some years back.
Was Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram’s founder poor? Was Baba Fugu poor? At least Baba Fugu was of such personal networth that the High Court and the Court of Appeal felt that N100million was the least amount that it should ask the Borno State Government to pay his family as “compensation” for his alleged killing by some officers of the Nigeria Police after his arrest. In fact the Borno State Government has since explained that the reason it thought it was pointless taking the case to the Supreme Court for final adjudication was because it was afraid it might be made to pay much more than the meager N100million that the High Court and Court of Appeal decided it should pay the family. Clearly, the Courts know that the family is not poor unlike the families those killed by Boko Haram in Borno State which the State Government recently paid N250,000 (Two hundred and fifty thousand Naira only) as “compensation” for their irreparable loss. I guess the Borno State Government reckoned that the gesture, however little, is really what counts since money cannot resurrect the dead even though the widows, widowers and orphans created by Boko Haram’s thirst for innocent blood could no doubt do with much more than N250,000.
Was that suicide-bomber who drove his vehicle into the car park of the Nigeria Police Force Head Quarters in Abuja a poor man? Not likely. The pictures of the man that were on the internet after the bombing showed him looking very-well fed and smiling contentedly while standing by his car with an AK47 automatic assault rifle on his shoulder. The report then was that the man had given his family N2miilion as “pocket-money” before he left Maiduguri for Abuja to carry out the Boko Haram attack. He was also said to be well educated and a successful businessman.
What about Alhaji Abdul Mutallab’s son, the “bomb-in-the-pants” failed suicide-bomber who tried to blow up the plane in which he travelled to the United States just before it landed and who is now standing trial for terrorism there? Surely, the young man was not poor. Though unemployed, the UK University-educated boy had enough monthly allowances from his billionaire banker-father to travel frequently to Yemen, Ghana, Nigeria and the United States.
So where is this concept of “poverty-caused-Boko-Haram” coming from? Appears that, in addition to the Islamic Jihadist agenda of islamising Nigeria and imposing Shariah, it is really the envy of the patrons of Boko Haram over the 13% Derivation Funds being paid to the oil-producing states that created the terrorist group. They and Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi seem to have conveniently forgotten that prior to the Military’s incursion into government in 1966, the Derivation Formula was actually 50% of the funds generated to the regions where the revenue was derived and 50% to the Federal Government. So the perceived “injustice” of Nigeria’s revenue distribution should not be by Boko Haramites but by the oil-producing states whose peoples have not ceased to advocate for “Resource Control” till date. Boko Haramites, like other Islamic terrorists elsewhere in the world, are not poor people but just wicked, insane, misguided and deluded religious extremists who believe they do God service by their murderous activities.
Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi sent me a text last Sunday threatening me that he would sue me for “libel” for disclosing on my Facebook page, on the discussion thread where I raised the Thisday story of his statement about the motivation of Boko Haram, that he was indicted by Gen. Sani Abacha for the Kano religious riot in which Gideon Akaluka was beheaded. Sanusi’s indictment was for his complicity as one of those the government believed instigated the riot. In fact, the report at the time was that eight people were fingered by the security agencies for their role in causing the riot. Seven of them were allegedly executed summarily but Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was spared because of the pleas of notable northern leaders on his behalf being a Prince of Kano Emirate. His grand-father was the Emir of Kano who was deposed by the government of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Old Northern Region of Nigeria and the Sardauna of Sokoto. So Gen. Sani Abacha’s government sent Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to be incarcerated in Sokoto Prison for a period of about two years. He was never formally charged or put on trial before a Court or other judicial panel. So Sanusi somehow believes that all Nigerians above forty years of age and well-informed enough to know what transpired at the time have somehow developed a sudden case of mass amnesia or would be too star-struck by his award-winning brilliance to speak out. So he has ensured that the inglorious period of his incarceration is unaccounted for in his resume since he conveniently omits it from his Curriculum Vitae and Profile. I guess any human being would have done the same if they had such a skeleton in their closet and had to serve as the Governor of a Central Bank.I have challenged some journalist to go and interview Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to get his reaction to my “allegation”. And to independently check this information with his close friends, his former colleagues at ICON Merchant Bank and the key operatives of our security services and the Prisons authority who were in employment between 1993 and 1998.
So why have I decided to go public with this information at this time? I have decided to go public with this information at this time because I am now convinced that Sanusi is a dangerous religious extremist in government. He should never have been appointed as the CBN Governor! I am now convinced that Mallam Sanusi is too dangerous a religious extremist and a Jihadist to be in government how much more the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria!
There are several questions on my mind about Sanusi and which should bother other Nigerians as well:
1. Did late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua not know these facts about Sanusi’s past?
2. If late President Yar’adua had this information, why did he think it was irrelevant to his decision to appoint Sanusi as the CBN Governor?
3. Did the security clearance issued by the State Security Service and/or other security agencies disclose this detail about Sanusi’s past?
4. Was the Senate aware of Sanusi’s indictment and incarceration when he appeared before it for the confirmation hearing to be appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria?
5. Did the Senators ask Sanusi to explain where he was and what he was doing during the missing period which is unaccounted for in his Curriculum Vitae?
6. Why did Sanusi choose to go to Sudan for his Doctorate in Shariah Law?7. Late Founder of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, was in Sudan about the same time when Sanusi was in Sudan. Did they meet in Sudan?
8. Who were Sanusi’s associates, friends, classmates, teachers and Imam in Sudan?
9. Who financed Sanusi’s education in Sudan since he was without a job at that time?
10. Why has Sanusi been so zealously pro-Shariah implementation in Nigeria as shown in his writings on http://www.gamji.com?
11. Is Sanusi’s fanatical promotion of Islamic Banking with public funds and his advocacy of the issuance of “Sukuk Sovereign Bonds” by the Federal Government of Nigeria merely about “an alternative banking window for the unbanked Muslims” and international finance, respectively?
12. Does Sanusi have any links to Boko Haram especially since he seems to know what is really motivating their members?
13. Alhaji Abdul Mutallab, the Chairman of Jaiz Bank, former Chairman of First Bank and father of the failed “pants-bomber”, is well-known as Sanusi’s “god-father”. Sanusi was also known to be a mentor and close friend of Abdul Muttalab’s terrorist son who was an Al Qaeda recruit. What role did Sanusi play in “radicalizing” this protégé of his since his father had explained that the boy became “radicalised” outside his home and despite good parental guidance?
President Goodluck Jonathan and other peace-loving Nigerians should be very worried about Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi remaining as the CBN Governor given his history as a suspected sponsor of a religious riot and the fact that he has manifested extremist tendencies even as the CBN Governor.
I am actually looking forward to Sanusi’s “libel suit” against me and I have told him he should see it as his opportunity to set the records straight about his indictment by Gen. Sani Abacha.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA!
1st February, 2012