CBN Governor and Osama Bin Ladin? What Is El-Rufai’s Own?

Sudan: Khartoum picture 1

There are fears in some quarters that Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi may have been radicalized during the time he spent as a student in the Sudan.

Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was in the Sudan between 1991 and 1997 where he was a student at the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan. Coincidentally, this was around the same time that Osama Bin Laden lived in Khartoum, Sudan. Osama Bin Laden lived in Sudan between 1992 and 1996. He left the Sudan in May of 1996.


Being that Malam Sanusi  Lamido Sanusi is an aristocrat and the grandson of the renowned Emir of Kano and Islamic Scholar, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, he was well received in Khartoum and  there are claims from a prominent Nigerian who has served at the highest level that during his stay in Sudan, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi met with both Osama Bin Laden (a fellow aristocrat from a lineage that had Islamic scholars) and Dr. Hassan ‘Abd Allah al-Turabi, who was Speaker of the Sudanese National Assembly and a then ally of Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir.

Recent utterances from Malam Sanusi Lamido have brought up the possibility that he might have been radicalized during his stay in the Sudan. The people and government of Sudan heavily dominated by people from the North had operated under the principle that the people of Southern Sudan are people of a lower culture and had in recent times shut them out of power and unleashed the dreaded janjaweed militia (a fore runner of  Boko  Haram?) on them.

In an article he wrote in 1999 and entitled “Issues in Restructuring Corporate Nigeria” he had made comments to the effect that he considered some of the cultures that exists in certain parts of Nigeria to be lower cultures.

Similar views were expressed again by the CBN Governor this time on the international stage. He had told the Financial Times of London that attempts to redress the despoliation of the Niger Delta via the policy on derivation are in large part to blame for the rise of the Boko Haram insurgency and stated that funds must be redistributed more equitably and taking into consideration the huge population of certain parts of the country.alt

These, fears take on another dimension with the strong tilt that Malam Sanusi has towards things pertaining to the North and the dominant religion of Islam there. For instance, many Nigerians were disturbed by the way and manner he prosecuted the introduction of Islamic banking. It may be remembered that Sanusi used words that were perhaps not too diplomatic against the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which caused Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to at different occasions warn the nation that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was also a Muslim cleric and might have allowed his faith becloud his judgment on the issue of Shari’a and Islamic banking.

Sudanese opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi

Meanwhile, NaijaPundit investigations have revealed that the reason why CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has in recent times began to take a pro Nasir Elrufai public posture may not be unconnected to the marriage scheduled between the CBN Governor and the sister to Malam Nasir Elrufai’s second wife.

Malam Elrufai is married to three wives and the sister of the second of them is affianced to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the marriage is to be contracted soon.

Many Nigerians where puzzled when Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi wrote what may be termed as a public love letter on the controversial former minister during the heat of the fuel subsidy debate last January.

Sanusi had written the letter in response to Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode’s own letter. Given that Malam Elrufai is one of the bitterest critics of the present administration, many Nigetians wondered why Malam Sanusi would go all out to defend him so publicly.

This is The letter Malam Sanusi’s wrote on Malam Elrufai

I have one request to make and Allah is my helper. Any attack on Nasir el Rufai or on Nuhu Ribadu is an attack on me. Nasir is to my mind is one of the greatest and most patriotic Nigerians to have served in public office and he is by far the best FCT minister we have ever had. Like all of us he is not perfect.

In my AIT interview I said I agreed with 90% of what he said a day before our interview and the two bits I didn’t agree with I stated: I don’t agree that there is no subsidy and I believe Nasir was quoting contributions from tHrusted experts which have been flying around recently including Prof Tam David West.

And we have debated this issue of accounting and economic concepts in this forum. I also do not agree that it is easy in the short-term to have massive fiscal retrenchment without a huge political backlash-indeed the fuel subsidy is one such case and retrenchment for instance would also bring people out

But Nasir is one person for whom I have always had the highest level of personal respect. His integrity is beyond reproach-of course, people will say anything but after years of trying no one is yet able to show any evidence backing up allegations. Intellectually, I am yet to know anyone who can match him and this has been the case since the 1970s. Femi Fani-Kayode has written in Nasir’s defence but these are not Nasir’s words and if you knew Femi well you would not be surprised or bothered by his peculiar choice of language. I have seen Femi transit from a rabid ethnic chauvinist and christian fanatic who thought Obasanjo was a stooge of the backward Muslim north, to a minister in Obasanjo’s cabinet preaching national unity, and now to some freelance activist and public commentator.

This is just a stage he is going through but I like to think he means well. When AIT requested me to speak they never said it was to respond to Nasir and when we started and they played their clip we told them we didn’t want to personalise this. Nasir and I were friends and brothers as teenagers. We have remained friends and brothers and will remain
friends after office.

We don’t have to agree 100%. He also understands that so long as I am in government I have 100% loyalty to the president. If I feel I cannot be loyal I should step down. This does not mean supporting every policy but it means standing up to play my part in doing what is good for the economy.
I, therefore, request please that no one defending me should attack his person. And only those who don’t know Nasir will even think I am his intellectual match- he is just exceptional in his brilliance.


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