BABA AHMED JODA
Alhaji Ahmed Joda, one of the Super Permanent Secretaries of old and now, a boardroom player in Nigeria, has written a letter to the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
He said that for Kano and for Nigeria, what happened to Sanusi “may well be a blessing in disguise that you may now be able to address issues that are now urgent for our society as a person not encumbered by the burden of office.”
He added: “Your father, a gifted and far sighted man, understood what the future politics of our country portend and decided early not to be part of it.
“The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth. These forces will fight you and you know it.”
Bellow is the letter:
(Letter to my Son, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi)
By Baba Ahmed Joda
My dear son,
As I write this letter I do not know your address. I am addressing it to you as my son, because I know you understand why. I got to know you when you were a very young person, a boy about to enter Secondary School. Before then and, very importantly, I knew your Grand Father, Emir of Kano Sanusi and your uncle the late Ambassador Ado Sanusi. Circumstances had made it possible for me to become very close to both of them.
Your late father, Ambassador Aminu Sanusi and I were contemporaries and were also very close. We trusted each other. He was a man of thought, far sighted, kind, considerate and resolute.
You have always, from the first day we met, called me Baba: when you were younger but as the years rolled on you called me Baba Joda. I accept the courtesy and value the respects it conveys.
As a very young person, at our very first meeting, the questions you asked me and the points you raised were far and beyond your age and I thought that you possessed a great deal of potential.
Your record in the public domain is proof enough of this assessment. Your departure from the Throne of Kano, was predictable from your very beginning and from the moment you ascended to it.
For Kano and for Nigeria, it may well be a blessing in disguise that you may now be able to address issues that are now urgent for our society as a person not encumbered by the burden of office. Your father, a gifted and far sighted man, understood what the future politics of our country portend and decided early not to be part of it.
The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth. These forces will fight you and you know it.
Also, within me, I feel that you have always known of this possibility and that you would be fully prepared for the consequences. Very often in the years since your accession to the Throne of Kano, I have tried to imagine what would be the best way for you to disengage from the suffocating burden you have inherited that of service to the people you have chosen to lead better.
I believe that the reason for my trend of thought is that, from what I know of your grandfather, your father and your uncle Ado and, of course you, it was most likely that you cannot change your beliefs in order to survive in an environment that is alien to all that is fair, good and responsible.
I believe that for the good of the Kano people, the people of Northern Nigeria and, of course, Nigeria you are now better placed to bring into service to humanity, the intellect that you are endowed with, the education in both the Western and Islamic endeavors to bear in the emancipation of the Talakawas of Northern Nigeria.
Your courage and your wide experience in many areas of endeavour place you in an excellent position to influence the effort to emancipate people who, for so long, have been subjugated and deprived by leaderships that are conservative and feudal; unable, unwilling and incapable of seeing the writing on the wall.
Leaderships that cannot understand or appreciate that this world we are in is a world that is led by knowledge, by science and technology; none of which cannot be achieved without sound education which were are denying our people.
I suggest to you that, if you are contemplating the legal route to right the wrong that has been done to you; you should abandon the thought. The Judiciary is not the way to go in this country when you are seeking justice. For evidence you have a living example in Jokolo, the Emir of Gwandu.
In the circumstances of the present, I suggest that you only take full advantage of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to all Nigerian citizens by the Constitution and only go to court to enforce those Fundamental Human Rights.
Even this route can be frustrating it can serve keep unjust system in the public mind and in the Peoples’ Court. You must protect your right to hold and to express your views; your right to associate with others and to propagate any views that are consistent with the laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
I believe it is possible for a platform to be created by you and people of like minds to propagate the ideas and ideals that can emancipate Northern Nigeria from the shackles of the visionless leaderships that we have endured for so long.
We need a moral leadership that is founded on sound and honest principles; of good education and of justice and fair play. I believe you have the courage and all that it takes to accept the challenge that your new situation has imposed on you.
I look forward to your accepting this challenge and to your helping to create such a platform that you can lead towards the moral revolution that we so badly need and deserve. I wish you well. Your affectionately,
Baba Ahmed Joda.