By Aminu Imam with agency report
Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday attacked the former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Chukwuma Soludo, over his criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s management of the country’s economy, saying his comments amounted to committing “intellectual suicide”, Premium Times has reported.
Speaking through her Special Adviser on Media, Paul Nwabuikwu, the Minister accused Mr. Soludo of single-handedly mismanaging the country’s banking sector between May 2004 and May 2009 and plunging the country into “an incredible accumulation of liabilities that will cost tax payers about N5.67 trillion”.
Recall Soludo, on Monday, had delivered a ruthless evaluation of the Nigerian economy under President Jonathan, ranking the administration “F” on economic management, and suggesting that Jonathan’s government is Nigeria’s worst as far as the management of the economy is concerned.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala described the former CBN governor as “an embittered loser in the Nigerian political space”, who is “so derailed” to “commit intellectual hara-kiri (or suicide)”, by deliberately misquoting economic facts and maliciously turning statistics on their head to justify a hatchet job”.
“Soludo has shamelessly pandered to so many past leaders that Nigerians are asking one more time – what position is Soludo gunning for now?” she asked.
“There is definitely an issue of character with Prof. Charles Soludo and his desperate search for power and relevance in Nigeria. Nigerians should therefore beware of so-called intellectuals without character and wisdom because this combination is fatal,” she added.
“The point is that this government has been pursuing the right economic policies, and its efforts have been acknowledged nationally and internationally.
“We cannot go by someone’s subjective view, driven by bitterness and bile. We need to look to the truth and to professionalism. This is where Professor Soludo totally fails.”, she stated.
The minister said if Soludo wants to regain respect, he should return to the path of professionalism.