The President invited the former CBN Governor to break Ramadan fast with him.
President Goodluck Jonathan and the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, met for the first time on Wednesday since the monarch was turbanned last month and about five months after the president ordered his suspension as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Both men met at iftar, the breaking of fast the president holds annually with top government officials who are Muslims and other prominent Islamic leaders in the country, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The one month Ramadan fast ends on Sunday.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt an invitation to attend the breaking of fast was dispatched to Mr. Sanusi, whose suspension as CBN Governor February 20 generated controversy, after the Sultan of Sokoto reached out to both men to reconcile.
Mr. Sanusi was appointed emir by the All Progressives Congress, APC, administration of Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State in June following the death of his predecessor, Ado Bayero, but could not gain access to his palace as a result of police siege on it allegedly on the orders of the president.
The police explained that it took the action in other to stop looters and arsonists, who had protested the emergence of the new emir, from vandalising the sprawling palace.
Few weeks ago, the emir however personally and through intermediaries reached out to Mr. Jonathan to forget the past and sheathe his sword.
He was said to have assured the president in a telephone chat that he would not be partisan and he (president) should consider him henceforth as a friend. Mr. Sanusi subsequently moved into the palace on June 13.
The stand-off between both men began in February when Messrs. Jonathan suspended Mr. Sanusi from his position as CBN Governor over alleged “acts of financial recklessness and misconduct.”
The former CBN Governor was on official assignment in Niger Republic when his suspension was announced about four months to the end of his tenure.
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Reuben Abati ordered Mr. Sanusi to hand over to the most senior deputy governor of the CBN, Sarah Alade, who acted until a substantive governor was appointed.
He said the president was concerned about far-reaching irregularities under Mr. Sanusi, which had distracted the Bank from its pursuit and achievement of its mandatory.
Reacting to his suspension, Mr. Sanusi said he had no regret and noted that he was proud of his achievements since he assumed duties as the CBN helmsman in 2009.
“We all know what this is about, this is about consequences for the steps that I have taken, and this is something that was long overdue. I am surprised that it took them so long,” the former Governor had told an international news agency.
He said he would not return to the job, but would challenge his suspension in court.
He made good his threat first in Federal High Court, where he filed a suit against the president and two others – Attorney General of the Federation and Inspector General of Police – though the suit was struck out later.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole upheld the argument by the counsel to the defendants and transferred the matter to the National Industrial Court, NIC, from where Mr. Sanusi subsequently withdrew it on July 3 following his appointment as Emir after the death of his predecessor, Ado Bayero.
With the meeting Wednesday, both men can now be said to be on the road to reconciliation.