Sanusi was born on 31 July 1961 in Kano to a ruling class Fulani family of the Sullubawa clan and his dad, Aminu Sanusi, was a career diplomat who served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, China and Canada. He later served as the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also the Chiroma of Kano. His grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi I, was the 11th Emir of Kano from 1953 until 1963, when he was deposed by his cousin Sir Ahmadu Bello.


Sanusi attended King’s College in Lagos and graduated in 1977. He then went to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1981. He later received a masters degree in economics two years later from the university and lectured at the Economic faculty.


To summaries his profile, he worked at United Bank of Africa and First Bank of Nigeria before he was appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by H. E. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memories in 2009.


As the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, he introduced a lot of reforms which was based on this 4 principles; enhancing the quality of banks, establishing financial stability, enabling healthy financial sector evolution and ensuring that the financial sector contributes to the real economy.

In fact, when he took over as the Governor. The Nigerian Financial sector was in the state Ghana found itself some few years back. He used N400 billion to rescue the financial sector and also implemented introduced a consolidation process which reduced the number of Nigerian banks through merger and acquisitions, in a bid to make them stronger and more accountable to depositors.


Sanusi Lamido during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime made an allegation that $20bn (£12bn) in oil revenue had gone missing. He told a senate committee that out of $67bn of oil sold between January 2012 and July 2013, $20bn had not been accounted for.

This triggered his suspension by the then President, Goodluck Jonathan.


Sanusi seems to be a bold person who says it as it is. He has and continue to make statements irrespective of who the statements affect or exposed.

“The reality is anyone who challenges the oil sector is striking at the heart of the vested interests that control the Nigerian state and one should be ready for the consequences,” Sanusi made this comment on the Missing Oil Revenue Saga on BBC’s Focus on Africa platform.

He also made serious revelations about the banking crises and exposed cartels who hide behind banks to exploit from the poor and vulnerable. He blamed the crises of the capital market due to the high financial illiteracy on the part of Nigerian investors.

Sanusi has openly condemned child marriage, child begging, polygamy causing poverty, advocating family planning, high illiteracy rates, lack of infrastructure among others. He is well known for making his views on issues affecting the lives of ordinary Northerners and Nigerians known without fear.


He was controversially appointed on 8 June 2014 to succeed his granduncle, Ado Bayero who has been on the throne since 1963. Sanusi emerged surprisingly though many expected Ado’s son to take over from the dad.

Sanusi was appointed during the tenure of Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso. Due to his socio-political views and statement, Governor Kwankwaso queried him twice within a year of his accession.

Sanusi Lamido is known to be outspoken and fearless. 1st ever Emir to have been directly contributing to National discourse and boldly spoke against certain norms in the Northern Sector which seek to increase the poverty rates there.


Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was the Deputy Governor to Kwankwaso when Sanusi was appointed as the Emir. He then succeeded his boss and became a Senator on the ticket of APC though he is now gone back to PDP (that will be discussed another time).

Sanusi’s controversial Socio-Economic critics continued unabated. In his many occasions, he critiqued on economic policies, programmes and activities of the federal and state governments.

In August 2016, Sanusi condemned the government’s foreign exchange policy, describing it as unrealistic and unhealthy for the economy.

In December that same year, the criticized the government for making a $30 billion loan request, leading to a public reaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In April 2017, the emir used an occasion in neighbouring Kaduna state to criticise the Kano State government for its plan to borrow money from China EXIM Bank to fund a metro line, the rate of poverty in northern Nigeria, the lack of infrastructure in the north and other pressing matters affecting lives at Northern Nigeria.


As he was criticizing, an online news portal made a publication accusing him of embezzling N6Billion.

This made the Governor trigger an investigation into the matter and an open declaration of bout between the Governor and the Emir. The aim of the Governor became obvious and removal of Sanusi gathered momentum.


As the rift between the 2 kept getting murkier, prominent individuals such as Aliko Dangote, Yemi Osinbajo (Veep), former heads of state Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar intervened to settle the differences between the 2.

A meeting after Ramadan last year was held at Abuja by Dangote and differences were ironed out. Both praised each other and wished each other well. Pics were taken as they 2 of them interacted.

But the Governor still had his plans in his head.


1 will ask, what is/are Emirates? Emirate is a traditional state in Northern Nigeria with headquarters in the city of Kano, capital of the modern Kano State. Let’s place it in the Ghanaian perspective, Eg. Asante Kingdom has it capital at Kumasi and is headed by the Otumfou. All the town or paramouncies are classified as emirates.

So last year, 2 bills were sent to the State Assembly. The laws were, Kano Emirs Appointment and Depositions Amendment Laws 2019 and the Establishment of 4 new FIRST-CLASS (This makes them as powerful as the Emir of Kano) Emirates.

The move generated controversies in Kano, as it became obvious the development was designed to weaken the influence of Kano Emir Sanusi.

The bill to appoint and deposition an Emir was then challenged in court and was later nullified by Justice Usman Na’Allah of the state high court.

Quickly, the Governor prepared a fresh bill and presented to the House of Assembly which got approved.

The Governor went ahead with then 4 New Emirates which are Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya. He then appointed the son of Sanusi’s Predecessor Aminu Ado as the Emir for Bichi. This came as a shock to many and he was referred to as a traitor by followers of Sanusi.

The law which was established in December 2019 was used to dethrone the Emir which many believe has set a bad precedence for other Governors who do not agree with the Emir in future to tow the same line.


Aside that, during last year’s Governorship elections, the Emir cos believed to have supported the PDP candidate Abba Kabir Yusuf who gave the incumbent Abdullahi Umar Ganduje a run for his money. The election ended up at the tribunal as they both pulled 1,024,713 votes and 1,033,695 votes respectively. The difference was just 8,982 in favor of the the incumbent Ganduje.

The tribunal later declared the incumbent as duly elected in October last year.


Sanusi is reported to have said during his departure speech as, “The throne of an emir is not permanent,every king and leader should know this. If it was a permanent throne,I wouldn’t have been the emir of Kano. Before I came someone was emir and before him someone else was there. Whenever God says your time on the throne is over,if you don’t leave with your legs,people will carry your body out of the palace. It is God that gives power and it is God that takes power”

Sanusi Lamido who served as Mohammed Sanusi II has been exiled by the Governor of Kano to Nassarawa State and has been succeeded by his uncle, who happens to be the son of his predecessor and 1 of the Emir of the new Emirates established last year.

Jamaludeen A. Abdullah


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