Posted by News Express | 24 August 2020 | 620 times
By GARBA MUHAMMAD, Kaduna
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll has said governor Nasir el-Rufai is not associated with religious bigotry describing his withdrawal from Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as sad for the freedom of speech.
The former Emir who was in Kaduna State for an official visit.
He landed at Kaduna Airforce Base around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and cautioned the NBA not to allow the controversy to take religious or ethnic dimensions.
The former Emir was received by the State governor Nasir el-Rufai at the government house around 1:00 p.m.
Speaking inside the Governor’s office, Emir Sanusi described the NBA’s disinvitation to Nasir el-Rufai as sad for freedom of speech.
He also said he was aware that most of the NBA members are not happy with the decision taken to stop the governor from attending the conference.
According to him, their action does not show the part of people who actually want progress describing the governor as a nationalist and not a religious or ethnic bigot.
The former monarch said: “I’m aware that the vast majority of NBA members do not agree with those things.
“You know if you have an opinionated view, people will either agree 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 position is on things, he says that position very clearly, people will like it, some people will not, and that is what some people call controversial and being controversial is actually having an opinion.
“If you don’t want to be controversial you just must be flexible, just floor with the wind and nobody knows where you stand. Then you will not have any friends or enemies as the case may be.
“To be honest, I do not want to join issues because we have already heard the views of Nigerians and the response.
“I spoke with Konwe Ajayi, who is the chairman of the technical committee, who confirmed to me that he was the one who invited His Excellency to come and speak at the NBA meeting.
“He didn’t ask to come and speak and that the technical committee didn’t support the called to dis-invite him.
“You know, if you are going to take action on people based on allegations. The president of the NBA himself has allegations against him that have not been proven.
“Nobody said anything about him because this is a matter that is before the court of law and people will wait for the court to decide.
“Everybody has a right to a fair hearing and most important 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.
”Dis-inviting him is’ not the part of people who actually want progress. Because if you disagree with someone having him in your hall where you can tell him your views is important and he can defend himself.
“If there are things he needs to improve upon he will take on board and if their things that you don’t know he is doing you can be better informed.
“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.
“If he is there he will add value to the conference and they can also learn from what he is doing.
“I hope if they changed their minds he will consider but it’s sad. Sad for freedom of speech because I have known Nasir since we were 16-17s he is a nationalist.
“Anybody who knows him knows he has never ever associated with any ethnic or religious bigotry all our friends and people never knows us as northerners because we are just Nigerians.”
Responding, Governor El-Rufai said the former Emir was in the state not only to visit him but also as a Vice-Chairman of the state investment promotion agency.
He said Emir Sanusi will spend a week in the state during which he will be briefed on the activities of the agency and also to interact with investment in the state.
“As you know, His Highness is the Vice Chairman of Kaduna investment, promotion Agency chaired by the deputy governor.
“We hope by this visit he will be briefed on the activities of the investment agency and also interact with all the agencies that are working to attract investment in Kaduna.
“Kaduna State is lucky to have him as the Vice Chairman of the state investment promotion agency because of his wide global network,” he said.
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