Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

(Special Report) Godwin Emefiele’s Power Gamble

After issuing a garbled statement on Saturday, wherein he talked about awaiting God’s guidance in making a decision about contesting for the Presidency and that he will make his decision known in a few days, it turns out that what Godwin Emefiele is really waiting for is a court declaration of his right to contest for office while retaining his position as CBN Governor. The Punch reports today that Emefiele has briefed his lawyer to file a suit at the High Court on this matter.

What now seems clear is that there is a lot of rules-bending at the high levels of our government for nothing but politics. The National Assembly passed the Electoral Act which required all political appointees to resign before seeking any elected office. The Federal Attorney General openly disagreed with this requirement. Though the President ultimately signed it into law, some shadowy personalities went to court and got this clause abrogated from the law. The AG, who should ordinarily represent the interest of the Federation (inclusive of the NASS that passed the Act), openly declared that he will not appeal the judgement.

It is that judgement that has seen us where we are today – where every appointee of the Buhari administration remains in office while pursuing future electoral fortunes. A decent number of our ministers remain in office while seeking to be President of Nigeria or Governor of their State. But while one can, at least, rationalize our politicians who are doing what politicians do best, where is the rationality behind the Governor of the Central Bank to be 1) a card carrying member of a political party and 2) to remain in office while chasing an elected office?

4 years ago, Adebayo Adelabu, a Deputy Governor of the CBN, resigned his position in order to pursue his goal of becoming the Governor of Oyo State. He did not try to game the system and Emefiele, as CBN Governor, did not ask him to remain in office while contesting for Oyo State Governor. So where is the precedence that Emefiele is relying on?

One of the reasons why our economy has always struggled is the moral incompetence of a serial number of Governors that have headed the CBN over time. Since I became aware of my environment, I have lived through 6 substantive CBN Governors. More than half of them contributed to destroying our economy while aiding and abetting thieving leaders .

There was Abdulkadir Ahmed who served from 1982 to 1993. He turned the CBN into the personal vault of IBB and co. There was Paul Ogwuma (1993 – 1999) who helped to facilitate the rape of the country by Sani Abacha (from whom stolen moneys continue to be discovered and recovered 25 years after). Then there was Joseph Sanusi (1999 – 2004) under whose leadership “round tripping” became the chief sustenance of many of our banks. We got slight reprieves under Chukwumah Soludo (2004 – 2009)and Lamido Sanusi (2009 – 2014). The last 8 years under Emefiele has been nothing short of a disaster. The facts and records are there for anyone who is interested.

What is worse, apart from his abysmal performance, is how the CBN Governor has gambled away his moral and ethical authority in order to dabble into matters not of his concern. We have seen him visit footballers in foreign lands and make donations and promises to them. We have witnessed him visiting factories and farms like a minister. We have watched as he openly declared himself ready for a street fight. How low can we go further?

Clearly, Emefiele is not doing all of these without the tacit approval of his superiors. Which leads one to ask where the drivers of this country intend to take it. We are so low it’s impossible to think we can sink deeper. Yet, that seems to be the aim – to drag this country deeper into the abyss. Power, more than the health, well being and progress of this country, is driving everything we are witnessing today. Such a crying shame!!!.