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#DukeOfSomolu – A belittled Emirate

I would never have believed if I was told that I would be writing an opinion piece in defense of the traditional stools of our Land. To me, they have far outlived their usefulness. I see them as a platform for the continuous usurping of lean resources and influence peddling for I had predicted their extinction with glee.

But recently, I have been looking at the institutions in a much different way. The current Ooni of Ife being the reason for this renewed outlook. His efforts at throwing up the culture of his people, the revered systems and the passed down legacies of our forebears has more than enough thrown up their continued usefulness outside of the purview of politics.

It is by no accident that the British monarchy steers very clear from politics. Constitutionally, they have been limited to such things as the preservation of their culture thereby drawing tremendous respect and applaud globally not to talk of the tourist dollars they contribute to the economy.

The monarchy is so brittle with the ‘scourge’ of democracy and its almost unbridled power to unseat it that the very wise British monarchy have learnt to distance itself from the murky world of politics and limit itself to such mundane things like wildlife, boyscouts and architecture to mention a few.

Back home, our monarchs not understanding the vortex of power play throw themselves into the very core that is partisan politics and often get not only themselves burnt but also expose the revered stools they represent enmeshed in the ridiculousness that is their folly.

The matter of the Emir of Kano and the balkanization of his 800 year throne is really sad. The Emir had not respected the stool, he had used the stool as a platform for activism. He turned the Emirship into a platform for criticism sending out ascorbic shots at the powers that be forgetting that apart from the traditional authority which in these days is totally meaningless he was at the mercy of the elements.

He went into the tiger’s cage without arms. He belittled the highly revered throne and has seen it destroyed and stripped as a consequence.

Now the point is not the truthfulness or otherwise of his positions but the appropriateness or otherwise of his actions. Now the policies of the government good or bad should be within the purview of the people who voted them in. They should be the ultimate decider of the fate of a Governor who has been nothing but altruistic in his approach to governance. It is not in the position of the Emir to be the ‘Gani Fawehinmi’ of Kano. He was too loud and, in the process, has brought the highly revered seat into this kind of disrepute.

When you keep poking fingers in the eye of a man who has shown that he is not capable to rule with reason, what you get is this stupidity thrown at you. The Emir has brought himself to the point he has been disrespected and humiliated by charlatans who hide under the cloak of democracy to desecrate an ancient stool.

I know as you read this you will be expecting to mention that of Oyo state. I will not diminish the quality of this write up by mentioning or alluding to the caricature that was Ajimobi in Oyo. That was a clown in stately robes and as such would not waste my time in pulling such cacophony into serious discuss.

The Emir should be above board; be impartial opening himself to guiding players through wise counsel when sought for. This is not to say, that the Emir of any traditional ruler should keep quiet and watch in the face of profanity but with wsidom, tact and great guile, he can contribute to discuss governance without appearing to take sides and in the process drag the institution into disrepute.

If you ask me I think the Emir is to be blamed in all of this least of all much was not in the first place expected from his opponent who had been variously exposed in videos as not being too above board and not principled. Such a person is expected to fight rough and dirty because of his lack of civility and decorum. So he rather burn down the whole street because of one house. So at getting at Emir Sanusi, he is attempting to burn down an institution that plays a very critical role in social stability and cohesion.

This is the sad narrative of today’s Nigeria led by infantile leaders who run around the system like circus clowns. We truly lack the depth of leadership that we need to move us forward as a people and society. This Kano debacle is just another example of perfidy and lack of regards of structures and institutions being played all over the country.

You see why the Oba of Lagos plays his own politics the way he does?



Joseph Edgar
Joseph Edgar is an Investment banker and Columnist with Thisday and DailyTimes newspapers. He is witty and is a hilarious writer.