Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has extolled former emir of Kano State, Muhammadu Sanusi II, describing him as the most forthright friend anyone can have.
Speaking at the Annual Muhammadu Sanusi II Colloquium in Kaduna, El-Rufai, who spoke virtually because he was outside the country, narrated how the two met as undergraduates at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
He said back then, the former emir of Kano was outspoken in his views and clear about his future and aspirations.
“He exuded a modern and progressive charm with a clarity of mind that manifested in the rendition with which he expressed himself.“Those attributes have remained with him through the decades, he is bold and thought in action, he has come to be recognised as one of the very best this country has produced,” he said.
The governor further said their decades of friendship reflect their mutual admiration and a commitment to being frank and open to each other.
He described Sanusi as one who stood out as an academic, banker and risk manager per excellence by the time he was in his 40s, adding that, “He then moved on to become a Central Banker of global repute, a reform minded emir and a distinguished Islamic scholar.
As a public intellectual, he has set out clear thoughts for a progressive Nigeria, a vision of rational economic choices and enlightened public leadership.”
With a chuckle, the governor noted how Sanusi II often speaks about how he (El-Rufai) makes him appear like the moderate, “but that can be reassessed and perhaps reinterpreted in reverse, given the things he has said, done and continue to thrive.
“I admire the ease with which he melds the traditional and the modern, his veneration for the life of the mind, his cultivation of knowledge, his dedication to logic and reason and his proven ability to execute decisions with facts,” he said.
The governor thanked him for his friendship and the service to Nigeria as well as the Muslim Ummah as a key leader and Khalifa of the Tijjaniyya Islamic movement.