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L’émir Lamiɗo Sanusi visé par Boko Haram

Le milliardaire Aliko Dangote rend une visite de courtoisie à l'Emir Sanusi Lamiɗo Sanusi. 10 juin 2014 (Photo: 9ra Life)
Le milliardaire Aliko Dangote rend une visite de courtoisie à l’Emir Sanusi Lamiɗo Sanusi. 10 juin 2014 (Photo: 9ra Life)

L’attentat perpétré par Boko Haram contre la grande mosquée de Kano sonne comme un avertissement pour Sanusi Lamiɗo Sanusi, ancien patron de la Banque centrale devenu chef religieux de la ville.

Le nouvel émir de Kano, Sanusi Lamiɗo Sanusi, n’est pas homme à se laisser impressionner. Ni par le gouvernement ni par les miliciens de Boko Haram. Le deuxième plus haut responsable religieux du pays, 53 ans, a été nommé en juin dernier dans cette ville du Nord à la suite de son limogeage, en février, du poste de gouverneur de la Banque centrale du Nigeria.

Sa faute : avoir publiquement accusé la Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) d’avoir détourné 20 milliards de dollars (environ 16 milliards d’euros) des revenus du pétrole. Aujourd’hui, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi a un nouvel adversaire : Boko Haram. Le nord du pays est à majorité musulmane, mais la secte islamiste tue sans distinction de religion, accusant les habitants de ne pas appliquer correctement la charia ou d’être vendus au gouvernement.

Lire également Lamiɗo Sanusi, The Fearless Nigerian

En mai 2013, le président nigérian, Goodluck Jonathan, avait décrété l’état d’urgence dans trois États du Nord-Est : Borno, Adamawa et Yobe, à 300 km à l’est de la ville de Kano, laquelle compte 10 millions d’habitants et fait l’objet d’attaques régulières. Alors que l’armée nigériane semble incapable de maîtriser l’avancée des terroristes, l’ancien banquier n’a quant à lui pas hésité à encourager la population à s’organiser en milices d’autodéfense, se mettant ainsi à dos la police fédérale, qui y voit un “appel à l’anarchie”.

Triple attentat suicide

L’état d’urgence a pris fin le 20 novembre et, huit jours plus tard, un attentat a fait au moins 120 morts et près de 300 blessés dans la mosquée centrale de Kano, accolée au palais de Sanusi… Est-il devenu la cible de Boko Haram ? L’émir balaie l’hypothèse d’un revers de main : pour lui, ce triple attentat-suicide, un jour de grande prière (à laquelle il était, cette fois, absent), était préparé de longue date et ne le visait pas directement.

— Nous ne nous laisserons jamais intimider, a réaffirmé Sanusi au lendemain du drame. Il ne serait pas le premier chef religieux à faire les frais de ses propos contre Boko Haram : son prédécesseur a été l’objet de plusieurs tentatives de meurtre, et l’émir de Gwoza, dans l’État de Borno, a été assassiné en mai dernier.

Dorothée Thiénot
Jeuneafrique.com

Nigeria. Lamido Sanusi is Kano’s new Emir

Mallam Sanusi Lamiɗo Sanusi
Mallam Sanusi Lamiɗo Sanusi, the new Emir of Kano

The ousted central bank governor and prominent government critic, Lamiɗo Sanusi, has been named as the new Emir of Kano in Nigeria.

The Emir is one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the country’s largely Muslim north.

As bank governor, Sanusi had levelled accusations of high-level fraud and was suspended.

As bank governor, Mr Sanusi had levelled accusations of high-level fraud and was suspended in February.

The previous Emir, al-Haji Ado Bayero, died after a long illness at the age of 83 on Friday.

Lamido Sanusi’s reforms

Mr Sanusi made sweeping reforms during his time as the Central Bank Governor, tackling widespread fraud in the financial sector. Recently, he alleged that corruption within Nigeria’s petroleum industry meant that the oil production did not match its revenue and so billions of dollars had gone missing.

This move did not go down well with President Goodluck Jonathan, who responded by suspending him.

Now assuming the throne in Kano, Lamiɗo Sanusi’s frosty relations with the president will be closely watched ahead of next year’s presidential elections.

‘Kingmakers’

After the Sultan of Sokoto, the emir of Kano is the second-highest Islamic authority in Nigeria.

The state government in Kano made the decision after four “kingmakers” had met and submitted nominees.

Those eligible had to be male members of the Ibrahim Dabo family — whose clans include the Bayeros and Sanusis.

Correspondents say Nigeria’s traditional leaders hold few constitutional powers, but are able to exert significant influence especially in the north where they are seen as custodians of both religion and tradition.

One of Mr Sanusi’s key roles will be helping tackle the mounting insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the north.

The group has accused traditional Muslim rulers of failing to enforce its strict interpretation of the Koran.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to suspend Mr Sanusi from the bank on accusations of financial recklessness and misconduct had led to concern among international investors.

Al-Haji Ado Bayero had been on the throne in the northern city since 1963.

He was the longest-serving emir in Kano’s history and sought to reduce tensions with Nigeria’s Christians.

He was also a critic of Boko Haram and survived an assassination attempt last year blamed on the Islamist group.

Tomi Oladipo
BBC News, Abuja

Yet to be crowned Emir of Kano, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, appointed on 3 June 2009 and suspended from office by President Goodluck Jonathan on 20 February 2014 after exposing a $20 billion fraud committed by the president’s associates in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
He is the grandson Sir Muhammadu Sunusi the 11th Emir of Kano state. He is a career banker and ranking Fulani nobleman, and also serves as a respected Islamic scholar.
The global financial intelligence magazine, The Banker, published by the Financial Times, has conferred on Sanusi two awards, the global award for Central Bank Governor of the Year, as well as for Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa.
The TIME magazine also listed Sanusi in its TIMES 100 list of most influential people of 2011.

Wikipedia

Lamiɗo Sanusi, The Fearless Nigerian

Lamido Sanusi leaves NCB

Lamiɗo Sanusi leaves as he began, not with a whimper, but with a bang. And in a sense, it was ever going to be thus: the closely-woven elites that have monopolised power in Nigeria for decades only allowed a reformer into such a powerful position as central bank governor because of the unprecedented financial collapse of 2009.
Sanusi was chosen and backed by the late President Yar’Adua, himself an atypical president, who had balanced the books as governor and shown a genuine interest in helping farmers rather than getting onside the oil sector.

Nicholas Norbrook
Nicholas Norbrook

He has consistently chivvied against poor governance, both from inside the tent — as was shown by Wikileaks documents that revealed Sanusi telling Yar’Adua that his ministers were opportunists — and from outside the tent, with more public pronouncements. And now the reports and letters.

But now that the economy is on a more even keel, now that the stables are cleaner, and now with a looming hard-fought election that will need serious lubrication from the emergent domestic oil sector, an irritant of Sanusi-like proportions must be dispensed with.

Most critics of Sanusi start with the idea that the Nigerian Central Bank had over-reached its mandate. They are probably right.

But in a country where institutional failure has reached epic proportions, history would suggest that leadership — even if it does stray over narrow institutional boundaries — must be applauded.

Roosevelt redux

In the early 1900s, when Americans were being ripped off by massive cartels that had bought off both political parties, President Theodore Roosevelt reached out to civil society.
Linking hands with journalists, Roosevelt bypassed Congress, named and shamed Big Oil, and eventually kicked off an era of better regulation, which all US citizens enjoy today. He probably broke the rules.

And with the presidency in recent years not appearing capable of these kinds of exploits, Sanusi went further in trying to resurrect leadership in Nigeria.
During the power vaccuum months when Yar’Adua was receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia, the Central Bank Governor turned the Nigerian Central Bank briefly into a training centre for agricultural development.
He brought in Akinwumi Adesina, now Agriculture Minister but then a Vice President of the Alliance for A Green Revolution in Africa, to run workshops on crop insurance, and how to restructure the sector along holistic lines. He then recommended him to Jonathan as minister.

A few months later the NIRSAL scheme was announced.
No doubt this is another overstretch — why should a Central Bank be playing the role of Prime Minister, bringing together finance and agriculture to launch innovative funding mechanisms for farmers.

No flinching

History might look back and ask who was behind the renaissance in Nigerian agribusiness. Given the lack of leadership in the sector beforehand, are we really to spit on the initiative?
Sanusi has been a clear promoter of industrial policy for many years.
When others arrive at the conclusion that promoting Nigerian business from within, for example by raising tariffs on imported cars, who will take the credit? Perhaps the former number two of the World Bank, finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a seemingly recent convert to the idea, certainly not approved chez Bretton Woods.

It will also be interesting to discover who had the idea of bringing the diesel cartel inside the tent, and give them power stations to run rather than have them sabotage the sector: one of the top judo manoeuvres seen in Nigeria’s political economy in recent decades.

‪But to point to the biggest elephant in the room of Nigerian politics, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), is to touch the live wire of Nigerian politics.‬

Sanusi’s passion for tackling the oil sector corruption started on Day One of his job.
In parsing through the bad debts that had been run up by the banks, he saw the cancer of the fuel subsidy racket. He didn’t flinch in taking on the banks. He didn’t flinch in taking on the fuel subsidy cabal. He didn’t flinch in taking on the power cabal. He didn’t flinch in taking on the NNPC.
Even if it meant precipitating the last day of his job.

Is he a one-man anti-corruption agency — of course not. But if not him, then who? Nigeria is about to find out.
Once the blowhards who felt their pride pricked by his manner calm down, once the chestbeaters stop crowing their vindication, what will be left?
Was the system changed enough to make a difference? Do the waters roll back? Will the sandcastle be washed away?

Nicholas Norbrook, Editor
Theafricareport.com