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Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

CBN:Jonathan as anti-North

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Sanusi-Lamido-SanusiGUEST COLUMNIST BY Mahdi Aliyu Shehu

Last week’s suspension of the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by President Goodluck Jonathan didn’t come as a surprise. Many observers, including the victim of the clear witch-hunt, were not taken unawares. Lamido Sanusi himself had admitted that he had anticipated it for a while. His suspension is the logical progression of his running battles with vested interests since he opened the can of worms that is the NNPC

It will not be altogether surprising if the federal government goes ahead and begins the persecution of the former apex bank’s top man. His passport has already been seized.

The Jonathan’s government has betrayed a reprehensible streak of persecuting certain people or regions for what are clearly political reasons. In the main, Sanusi’s travails are rooted in his insistence that a whopping $20 billion is unaccounted for by the oil company. Typically, rather than take punitive steps to against the offending minister, Jonathan chose to rid the ‘irritant’ that is Sanusi Lamido. In doing that, he proved observers right that he can be counted on to promote graft and impunity if his kinsmen and women are involved. The NNPC imbroglio is a clear case of partisanship. Sanusi’s suspension was, therefore, expected. What came as a shock was the indecent haste in nominating his replacement. In a twinkle of an eye, an acting governor was appointed and Godwin Emefiele, currently Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, named as successor to Sanusi in a serial breach of the law. Emefiele may be a decent banker but his choice like that of Mrs. Mfon Akon, nominated for the chair of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is principally seen as self serving. Both nominees are from the South-south geo-political zone, Jonathan’s enclave.

Fairness requires that Sanusi’s replacement should come from the North but nay. In Jonathan’s Nigeria, it is perfectly acceptable to have, in addition to these two nominees, the minister of finance and Arunma Otteh, the Director-General of Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission (SEC),Oscar Onyema, Director-General, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE),Uche Oji, Managing Director, Sovereign Wealth Fund, and Bright Okogwu, the DG, Budget Office. This list is, by no means, exhaustive. Nigeria’s economy is firmly in the control of a section of this country. This is patently sectional. In a diverse polity like ours, instituting a sectional cabal to superintend over a subsection of the nation’s economy is unhealthy. Apart from entrenching an objectionable culture of ethnic solidarity, it also encourages fraud and sundry scam. Regrettably, this is the pattern that has defined the Jonathan administration. That may help explain why some elements are sitting tight in their seats despite glaring proven cases of abuse. The NNPC brouhaha is a case in point. The whistle blower is sacrificed while the fat necks united in graft continue to steal the country blind.

This government is being run exclusive of other regions of the federation. In suspending Sanusi and nominating Emefiele, the sustained marginalization of the North and indeed the other parts of the nation, especially the South-west, has been cemented. It has been said often that the government under Jonathan’s watch may be on a ‘revenge’ mission on the North. The Sanusi ordeal is an example. Removing him and replacing him with a southerner is a clear manifestation of a subjugation agenda. This writer is piqued that in the motley crowd of professional bankers in the North Jonathan didn’t deem it fit to choose one from the lot. Among the leading economists and bankers of repute from the North is Shamsudeen Usman who was at one time a deputy governor at the Apex bank. Usman at one point was minister of finance and national planning and a card-carrying member of the ruling party, PDP. Besides him are Dr. Mansur Muktar, also a former finance finister, Tanimu Yakubu, a chief economic adviser to late President Umaru Yar’adua and Suleiman Barau, currently a deputy governor in the CBN. Barau is a homegrown economist with a wide-ranging commercial banking experience untainted by the discredited economic persuasion of Bretton Woods’s institutions. There are others. Two governor, namely Isa Yuguda and Muktar Ramalan Yero of Bauchi and Kaduna states respectively. They are similarly qualified to competently discharge the duties of CBN governor. At one time, these last two were speculated as being considered for the top post but alas and out of the blue Jonathan announced Emefiele in flagrant disregard for fairness and sense of equity.

In other climes, this serial violation of the Constitution may mean impeachment. The north has been continually short changed by this government. President Jonathan tenure itself is a violation of the zoning agreement enshrined in the People Democratic Party (PDP).Yet in 2011, Jonathan was massively voted for in the North. This writer is skeptical of similar support if he so decides unless some of the current marginalization of the North is quickly redressed and addressed. But going by the present trend, it will be almost impossible for a reversal of fortunes of both the region and the party. It is not too late, however, to begin. For starters, Jonathan should expand the scope of Sanusi’s replacement specifically to the North. Two, the candidate should be one that is ‘home grown’ like Sanusi or Charles Soludo. Thirdly, he should have both commercial bank experience and possibly exposure to the workings of the Central Bank. Finally, he must be a northerner like Sanusi. I rest my case.

Mahdi Aliyu Shehu contributed this piece from 33 Emir Yahaya road, Sokoto

Last week’s suspension of the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by President Goodluck Jonathan didn’t come as a surprise. Many observers, including the victim of the clear witch-hunt, were not taken unawares. Lamido Sanusi himself had admitted that he had anticipated it for a while. His suspension is the logical progression of his running battles with vested interests since he opened the can of worms that is the NNPC It will not be altogether surprising if the federal government goes ahead and begins the persecution of the former apex bank’s top man. His passport has already been seized. The Jonathan’s government has betrayed a reprehensible streak of persecuting certain people or regions for what are clearly political reasons. In the main, Sanusi’s travails are rooted in his insistence that a whopping $20 billion is unaccounted for by the oil company. Typically, rather than take punitive steps to against the offending minister, Jonathan chose to rid the ‘irritant’ that is Sanusi Lamido. In doing that, he proved observers right that he can be counted on to promote graft and impunity if his kinsmen and women are involved. The NNPC imbroglio is a clear case of partisanship. Sanusi’s suspension was, therefore, expected. What came as a shock was the indecent haste in nominating his replacement. In a twinkle of an eye, an acting governor was appointed and Godwin Emefiele, currently Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, named as successor to Sanusi in a serial breach of the law. Emefiele may be a decent banker but his choice like that of Mrs.  Mfon Akon, nominated for the chair of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is principally seen as self serving. Both nominees are from the South-south geo-political zone, Jonathan’s enclave.Fairness requires that Sanusi’s replacement should come from the North but nay. In Jonathan’s Nigeria, it is perfectly acceptable to have, in addition to these two nominees, the minister of finance and Arunma Otteh, the Director-General of Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission (SEC),Oscar  Onyema, Director-General, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE),Uche Oji, Managing Director, Sovereign  Wealth Fund, and Bright Okogwu, the DG, Budget Office. This list is, by no means, exhaustive. Nigeria’s economy is firmly in the control of a section of this country. This is patently sectional. In a diverse polity like ours, instituting a sectional cabal to superintend over a subsection of the nation’s economy is unhealthy. Apart from entrenching an objectionable culture of ethnic solidarity, it also encourages fraud and sundry scam. Regrettably, this is the pattern that has defined the Jonathan administration. That may help explain why some elements are sitting tight in their seats despite glaring proven cases of abuse. The NNPC brouhaha is a case in point. The whistle blower is sacrificed while the fat necks united in graft continue to steal the country blind.This government is being run exclusive of other regions of the federation. In suspending Sanusi and nominating Emefiele, the sustained marginalization of the North and indeed the other parts of the nation, especially the South-west, has been cemented. It has been said often that the government under Jonathan’s watch may be on a ‘revenge’ mission on the North. The Sanusi ordeal is an example. Removing him and replacing him with a southerner is a clear manifestation of a subjugation agenda. This writer is piqued that in the motley crowd of professional bankers in the North Jonathan didn’t deem it fit to choose one from the lot. Among the leading economists and bankers of repute from the North is Shamsudeen Usman who was at one time a deputy governor at the Apex bank. Usman at one point was minister of finance and national planning and a card-carrying member of the ruling party, PDP. Besides him are Dr. Mansur Muktar, also a former finance finister, Tanimu Yakubu, a chief economic adviser to late President Umaru Yar’adua and Suleiman Barau, currently a deputy governor in the CBN. Barau is a homegrown economist with a wide-ranging commercial banking experience untainted by the discredited economic persuasion of Bretton Woods’s institutions. There are others. Two governor, namely Isa Yuguda and Muktar Ramalan Yero of Bauchi and Kaduna states respectively. They are similarly qualified to competently discharge the duties of CBN governor. At one time, these last two were speculated as being considered for the top post but alas and out of the blue Jonathan announced Emefiele in flagrant disregard for fairness and sense of equity.In other climes, this serial violation of the Constitution may mean impeachment. The north has been continually short changed by this government. President Jonathan tenure itself is a violation of the zoning agreement enshrined in the People Democratic Party (PDP).Yet in 2011, Jonathan was massively voted for in the North. This writer is skeptical of similar support if he so decides unless some of the current marginalization of the North is quickly redressed and addressed. But going by the present trend, it will be almost impossible for a reversal of fortunes of both the region and the party. It is not too late, however, to begin. For starters, Jonathan should expand the scope of Sanusi’s replacement specifically to the North.  Two, the candidate should be one that is ‘home grown’ like Sanusi or Charles Soludo. Thirdly, he should have both commercial bank experience and possibly exposure to the workings of the Central Bank. Finally, he must be a northerner like Sanusi. I rest my case.Mahdi Aliyu Shehu contributed this piece from 33 Emir Yahaya road, Sokoto

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