Godwin Emefiele Saga As A Banana Peel

By Frank Oshanugor

Since the suspension of Mr. Godwin Emefiele from his position as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor last week, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the
subsequent arrest and detention of him by the Department of State Services (DSS), a can of worms seemed to have been opened for his traducers to feast on.

It is on record that in the last days of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, Emefiele by certain actions and inactions of the CBN which he headed, has stoked the anger of many Nigerians particularly as a result of the naira re-design decision of late 2022 which left the average Nigerian in weeks of financial hardship.

While Emefiele remains accused for poorly executing such a policy which from all intents and purposes were targeted at checkmating some economic destroyers, we all need to be reminded that he was answerable to a President Nigerians collectively voted for, which in this case, was Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians never voted for Godwin Emefiele. He was an appointee of the Buhari administration and was answerable to the President. In effect, whatever were his actions and inactions ought to be adjudged in line with the policy decision of the Government which appointed him.

As an appointee of the President, his retention or otherwise of his position within the tenured space of five years or so, would be a function of his performance as appraised by the Presidency in line with the extant statutory provisions of the CBN Act.

President Buhari in his time did not find reason to sack Emefiele ostensibly because he was considered doing the ‘right thing’ in spite of what may be the misgivings of members of the public. However, that is not to say that he may not have overstepped his bounds as specified by the terms of his engagement as CBN Governor.

Now that so many allegations are coming through the media against him (whether true or false), it would be worthwhile to understand that whatever may have been Emefiele’s misdeed while in office as CBN Governor, he must have acted in concert with many people including Buhari himself. If he was corruptly running the CBN under the watch of Buhari without a presidential query or disciplinary action, it all means Buhari was an accomplice because the bulk stops on the presidential table.

Among the many allegations unofficially being made against Emefiele via the media, are the ones verging on the illegal employment of 91 relations of influential Nigerians into CBN, ownership of dozens of foreign bank accounts and so on. I dare caution that Nigerians should not be quick to tow such route until DSS investigators come up with their findings.

I would add that the Emefiele saga is like a faulty airborne plane heading for crashing with a good number of passengers on board whose identities are not yet known. The passengers are many and I can guess that one of them is Muhammadu Buhari.

To mitigate the damage that would be done when the plane finally crashes and possibly save some passengers from death and permanent disability, we should advise the pilot to manage the mishap with the best of his ability.

Literarily speaking, the pilot in this case is President Tinubu. It is his lot to handle the Emefiele issue carefully in other not to run into conflict of interest by the time Emefiele’s interrogators compel him to say what he would probably not want to say. I see heads rolling because Emefiele would obviously not want to sink alone.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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