The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, on Wednesday blasted conservative northern leaders who discourage attitudes and activities that, he said, would have developed the region.
The emir spoke while delivering the keynote speech at KADINVEST 2.0, an event organised by the Kaduna Sate Government to encourage investments.
Giving examples of the destruction of romance and love books by a former Kano governor and the response of the Zamfara State Governor to the current meningitis outbreak in the state, the emir said what exists in Northern Nigeria is “a complete failure of social policy.”
“We are fighting culture and we are fighting civilisation,” he said. “For us to address social policy, we have to reclaim our religion.”
Mr. Sanusi criticised the ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam in some parts of Northern Nigeria that has discouraged girl-child education, family planning and other progressive policies.
On Kannywood, he said he was sad that the Hausa movie industry was gradually moving from Kano to Kaduna due to the latter’s policies of encouragement, saying “building Kannywood would have led to building the economy of Kano.”
“I’m sad that Kano has lost it, but I’m happy that Kaduna is getting it,” he said.
The emir also criticised Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara for his statement on Tuesday that the meningitis outbreak in his state and others was God’s punishment for peoples’ sins.
The governor’s statement in Abuja while addressing reporters on the meningitis which has caused the death of over 214 people in Zamfara and at least 336 people across Nigeria.
“Don’t give these kind of explanations,” Mr. Sanusi said of Mr. Yari’s comment. “That is not an Islamically correct statement to make.”
“(If) you don’t have vaccines, you don’t have vaccines; Go and get vaccines,” the emir said.
Zamfara and other states have been battling with insufficient vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.
On Tuesday, the Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Abdullahi Shinkafi, said the state government, which required three million dosages of meningitis vaccines, only got 300,000 from the federal government.