Nigeria surviving on extra time, says Sanusi Lamido


Former Emir of Kano, Mohammed Lamido Sanusi, has said Nigeria is living on an “extra time”.

He warned that deeper and more complex challenges await the country in 2023.

Sanusi said though the nation had to contend with what he called a “deep hole” problem it found itself in 2015, he expressed the worry that the set of leaders that would be elected in 2023 would face tougher times in directing the affairs of the country.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he visited the Babanla Adinni of Egba land, Chief Tayo Showunmi, painted a gloomy picture of the events ahead.

“In 2023, we will be in even deeper hole than we were in 2015,” Sanusi said.

The frontline banker arrived the home of Chief Showunmi in Fajol area of Abeokuta at 1:54 p.m and was received by his host as well as the Chief Imam of Egba land, Alhaji Sahadallah Bamigbola, former Military Administrator of Bauchi and Sokoto states, Navy Captain Rasheed Raji (retd.) and Iskilu Shehu Sugar, among others.

He was in Abeokuta to felicitate Showunmi, who celebrated his birthday last week, but the ex-CBN governor was unable to attend the ceremony.

Fielding questions on his likely presidential ambition ahead of 2023, Sanusi said: “When you tell me to go into politics, you are telling me to set aside one type of authority and look for another type of authority: to leave what God has given me and pursue something else.

“I am the first and only northern Nigerian to be Chief Executive Officer of First Bank since it was set up in 1823. In this same life, God has made me Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He has made me Emir of Kano; He has made me Khalifa of Tijaniyah. What am I looking for?”

Advising those in authority, he said: “Life has to be about service and leadership has to be about service. I will tell all those who are in authority: don’t forget that the office they are sitting in is an office that other people have sat in before and they would leave that office and other people will sit in that office. It is temporary.”

On his prescience about what lies ahead, Sanusi said: “To be honest, we are living on extra time. In 2015, we were in a deep hole. In 2023, we will be in even much deeper hole we were than in 2015.

“All those people who are struggling to be President, I hope they understand that the problems they are going to face are multiples of the problems we were facing in 2015. The solution is not for all of us to jump into politics.”

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