Deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has warned the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, not to allow the withdrawal of invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai degenerate into religious or ethnic dimension.
Sanusi, who paid a visit on El-Rufai in Kaduna on Sunday, said the NBA’s action was sad for freedom of speech and that the action did not depict those who wanted to progress.
In his words: ”I am aware that the vast majority of NBA members do not agree with those things. You know if you have an opinion, people will either agree with you or disagree with you but a man who has an opinion that can be agreed with or disagreed with is always better than a man who has no opinion at all.
“Nasir always has opinions. He knows what his positions are on things. He says that position very clearly. People will like it, some people will not like it and that is what some people call controversial and being controversial is actually having an opinion.
”To be honest I do not want to join issues because we have already heard the views of Nigerians and the response. Everybody has a right to a fair hearing, and most importantly for me, if you feel that the Governor of Kaduna State is not doing right you should invite him to your covers and ask him to explain what he is doing.
“Tell him what you think is doing wrong and you will learn something from him and he will learn something from you. That is the best way to handle issues like this. But again, I have seen the response from different branches of NBA and I hope this matter will not be turned to ethnicity and religious matter. It should be a matter of principle.”
The former monarch also expressed appreciation on his appointment as Chancellor of the Kaduna State University (KASU), and Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA).
According to him, Kaduna has already overtaken other states as the leading destination for investments.
However, “we do, will be simply supporting work that has already been done, and results that are already showing.”
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), assured El-Rufai that he would continue to put in his best to support efforts to develop the state including making his contribution to the Kaduna State University.
“I am always ready to offer advice and counsel and to receive same. As you know, I will be going to Oxford in October for a year, following your footsteps, to publish a few books,’’ he said.
The former Emir also thanked the people of Kaduna for the warm reception that they extended to him.
‘’I was overwhelmed by the reception that I received. I did not expect the crowd that I got. The people of Kaduna walked from the Air Force base to Government House and they are still there waiting to escort me to my residence.
“I am looking forward to fruitful seven days in Kaduna, meeting friends and relatives, and also meeting officials of Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency as it is more or less a working visit,’’ he added.
Sanusi also prayed God to uphold the governor and bring peace to the state and the country.
Responding, El-Rufai said he was delighted to welcome Sanusi to Kaduna and that he was deeply touched that Kaduna was the first place he decided to visit since his relocation to Lagos.
El-Rufai noted that Kaduna was lucky to have a person of His Highness’s calibre on the board of its investment agency because of his wide global network, integrity and reputation.