Graca Machel, widow of late Nelson Mandela, ex-President of South Africa, has expressed her solidarity with Muhammadu Sanusi, deposed emir of Kano state.
The Kano executive council chaired by Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor, removed Sanusi as emir on Monday “for disrespecting the office of the governor”.
In a statement on Tuesday, Machel who is the founder of The Grace Machel Trust, a Pan-Africa advocacy organisation, said she was saddened to learn of Sanusi’s dethronement.
She described Sanusi as a “bold inspiration” for leaders to hold themselves to account.
She also expressed her readiness to be of help to the deposed emir “during this challenging time” and urged Sanusi to remain strong and resilient as critics of progressive thinking and action find themselves on the wrong side of history.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of you bring relieved of your official duties as Emir of Kano and held by government authorities,” the statement read.
“I am sending you this message of solidarity in the hopes that it provides you, in some small measure, with reassurance and a degree of comfort that you are not alone in your valiant struggles to confront corruption and the social ills burdening Northern Nigeria.
“Your influential voice as a man, as a traditional leader, and as a religious authority challenging the status quo is sorely needed not only in Nigeria, but throughout Africa.
“Your Highness, we hold you in very high regard and count on your knowledge, expertise, experience and wisdom to continue to lift the continent to higher heights. We proudly count you among the Graca Machel Trust’s International Board of Advisors and stand with you in your courageous efforts to speak truth to power.
“Your convictions are powerful ones that ring loudly in the hearts and minds of all those who value human dignity and equality and the causes you are fighting so steadfastly for cannot be silenced.
“Rest assured that critics of progressive thinking and action find themselves on the wrong side of history. Please remain strong and resilient. We are praying for your safety and your freedom.”
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