Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed how he came to be friends with the deposed Emir of Kano and former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Sanusi had taken the title Muhammadu Sanusi II immediately he became an emir.
El-Rufai spoke at the inaugural edition of the annual Muhammadu Sanusi II Colloquium, which held at the Yar’Adua Hall, Kaduna, on Saturday.
The occasion also marked Sanusi’s birthday.
El-Rufai delivered the lecture virtually, according to his verified Facebook page.
However, his deputy, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, was physically present, being the chief host.
El-Rufai’s message to the colloquium states:
1. I have the great pleasure to wish His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II, a happy birthday. He has accomplished much in life, and I wish him a better tomorrow. I pray that Allah continues to bless and strengthen him.
2. My story with His Highness began in the late 1970s when he was Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. I met this brainy young man as a fellow undergraduate at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was quite self-assured, outspoken in his views and clear about his aspirations. He exuded a modern and progressive charm, with a clarity of mind that manifested in the erudition with which he expressed himself.
3. Those attributes have remained with him through the decades. He is bold in thought and action. He has come to be recognised as one of the very best that this country has produced. I admire the ease with which he melds the traditional and the modern, his veneration for the life of the mind, his cultivation of knowledge, his dedication to logic and reason and his proven ability to execute the decisions which the facts compel.
4. His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II has stood out as an academic, banker and risk manager per excellence by the time he was in his 40s. He then moved on to become a central banker of global repute, a reform-minded emir and Islamic scholar. As a public intellectual, he has set out clear thoughts for a progressive Nigeria, a vision of rational economic choices and enlightened public leadership.
5. He is a man of gravitas and the most forthright friend anyone can have. Our decades of friendship reflect our mutual admiration and a commitment to being frank and open to each other. He has spoken often about how I make him appear like the moderate, but that can be reassessed and perhaps interpreted in reverse, given the things he has said, done and continued to thrive!
6. I thank him for his friendship and the service he continues to render to our country in general and to the Muslim Ummah as a key leader and Khalifah of the Tijjaniya Sect in our country and surroundings.
We are particularly grateful for his support for our governance agenda in Kaduna State, to promote equal opportunity and empower people.