Sanusi: “Between 2015 and now, we’ve been digging ourselves into a deeper hole”


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Former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II says Nigeria is in a worse state now compared to 2015, noting that Nigeria and its people have never had it so bad.

He said that the situation in 2023 could be worse than the present.

The Khalifa of the Tijanniyah Sufi Order of Nigeria expressed surprise that the current administration expects to be appreciated after leaving office despite copious evidence of underperformance.

Sanusi spoke on Thursday at the Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF)’s, Leadership Colloquium and Awards, Chapter 7, themed ‘Are Good Leaders Scarce in Nigeria?’

Citing various social issues, he said that nothing seems to be working in Nigeria anymore, and the level of poverty and hunger in the land keeps increasing.

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“This is the only oil-producing country that is grieving at the moment when oil prices have gone up as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war. Our total revenue is not able to service our debt.

“And if anybody does not understand that we are in a complete mess, we are. We were in a deep hole in 2015. And between 2015 and now, we have been digging ourselves into a deeper hole.

“We thought we had a big problem in 2015. 2015 is nothing, compared to what will happen in 2023. We have terrorism, we have banditry, we have inflation, we have an unstable exchange rate, and the worst thing is that those in leadership actually think we are going to thank them when they leave office.

“That we are going to appreciate them, there is no change. There is no sense of urgency. If you are running a company and your sales revenue cannot pay interest, you know you’re bankrupt.

“When the total revenue of the federal government cannot service debt? And we are smiling. These are the kinds of questions we need to ask. And the reality is that there are so many Nigerians, who, given the opportunity will do well but they simply cannot contest in that space,” Sanusi said.

He said that the self-centredness and visionless of Nigeria’s leaders were responsible for the country being in dire straits.

According to him, the leaders are more interested in winning elections than actual governance.

“What is our vision for Nigeria? Do we have a vision of one country? Do we have a vision of one united country, that lives peacefully with itself – diverse, multicultural, multi-religious but one? And these things are not self-contradictory. Where did we get it wrong? he asked.

“Leaders after leaders, most of those who have ruled did not have a vision for a united Nigeria. How would you like to be remembered after eight years as a President, after eight years as a governor, eight years as a minister, eight years as Governor of CBN?

“How would you like history to remember you? They have not thought about it. The vast majority of those in office have a vision that is limited to the next election. It is to win. And when you’ve won, you’ve reached a destination, not a journey,” Sanusi said.

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