MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
As Nigerians and the international community watch the drama playing out from the Presidency over the suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, by Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the
subsequent arrest earlier on Saturday by the Department of State Service (DSS), the social media have been abuzz with comments on the Emefiele saga.
While some expressed happiness over his suspension and arrest due to the perceived role he played in the Muhammadu Buhari administration with respect to the naira re-design, many others have condemned the action of the Tinubu government describing it as vendetta against a man who merely acted on instructions of the former President.
Some commentators have chosen to blame Emefiele for not resigning before the exit of Buhari or escape from the country immediately Buhari handed over on May 29, 2023.
Reacting to the suggestion of resigning or escaping, a former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) Prof. Epiphany Azinge said Emefiele’s appointment as CBN Governor was tenured and he could not just walk away at his pleasure.
The highly cerebral lawyer insisted that for the same reason, Emefiele could not be arbitrarily sacked by President Tinubu without recourse to due process which includes the scrutiny of the National Assembly.
He argued further that the President was properly advised hence he resorted to suspension and not outright removal or sack. To the former NIALS boss, further investigations and/or allegations of misconduct will now determine if Emefiele will be ultimately removed or sacked.
Given the circumstances surrounding the CBN Governor’s current travail, Azinge contended that “the pointers are clear that he will not return to that seat again. I will rather advise him to hold all his actions attributed to directives and approvals from Buhari. He must not sink alone. Let him drag Buhari along if he must survive.”
Many other Nigerians have similarly spoken on the issue blaming or sympathising with Emefiele. His kinsmen from Delta State coming under the auspice of Agbor Professionals in a statement on Saturday condemned the suspension.
Some commentators argued further that Tinubu was already on the threshold of running ethnic based administration just like Buhari did as already indicated in his placement of a Yoruba man as the acting Governor of CBN. In a statement on Saturday, a group of concerned Nigerians wondered why Tinubu should pick Mr. Folashadun Shonubi, someone less qualifed both academically and official position at CBN to become acting Governor if he was not playing ethnic card.
Some commentators have also blamed the DSS for being quick to arrest Emefiele while the same DSS find it difficult to arrest or question Kaduna State Governor former Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai over his treasonable statement few days ago.
The former Governor had boasted that Nigeria has succeeded in replicating the Muslim Muslim ticket at the national level just like he did in Kaduna where he ruled as Governor and his Deputy also a Muslim. El Rufai had threatened that Nigeria would never be governed by s Christian president.
Many Nigerias are still at a loss while DSS has not taken on El Rufai for making such inciting statement. They concluded that if the secret police continues to be selective on who to question or not, it obviously gives confirmation of its partisanship and dysfunctionality as a state institution.