When I heard Mr Lamido Sanusi – the Nigerian CBN governor- was named among TIME Magazine’s most influential people, I felt it couldn’t get any better for this man: earlier this year he received many national and international awards in recognition for his contribution to the Nigerian Economy, some weeks ago he bagged some prestigious award in the UK as the global banker of the year , and then to cap it all he was named among TIME magazines most influential people along side world’s elite like Angela Merkel , Barack Obama , Mark Zukeberg and host of others.

Of course, Lamido’s achievement at the global stage means positive press for Nigerians compared to the junk we’ve endured over the years from Abdumuttalab failed fireworks display to James Ibori’s fraud and other shameful reports always making headlines. However, it is impossible to believe that Lamido who is probably one of the most liked Nigerians today was seriously detested by many Nigerians (including me :P) in 2009.

After his then infamous (but now celebrated : P) sacking and indictment of some bank chiefs in 2009, many people believed he was pursing a northern agenda to rid southerners who had financial authority, some even went as far as saying his actions had religious motives. However, looking back and given the positive results of his actions, everyone including his critics would agree that all those accusations were ridiculous and baseless.

In a speech on Silverbird TV, Mr Sanusi took the opportunity to tell a group of industry magnates and celebrities the reason for his success, I’ll try and paraphrase:

…when people said I was pursuing a northern agenda [regarding the indictment of some bank CEO’s in 2009], I refused to be moved, I knew within me that my actions where correct and just , thus I did not regard unpopularity as something to be scared of , I had to do my job !…

I give a heavy and golden salute to Mallam Lamido Sanusi for sacrificing popularity for the benefit of the Nigerian economy…..such a “positive defiant” attitude should be emulated.

By Aghogho Sam-Umurhurhu

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