Arewa Network, Patriotic Front in war of words over ‘Emefiele’s presidential ambition’

With report By Haruna Salami

The Patriotic Front of Nigeria (PFN), has come under fire from the Northern Emancipation Network (NEN) for calling on the National Assembly to probe the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Recall that the PFN, in a statement by Tope Badmus alleged that Emefiele was consulting to contest for President and advised him to resign his appointment.
The Group also alleged that he had used CBN’s intervention funds to service his political associates and for his 2023 presidential ambition.

But in a sharp and prompt reaction, NEN Secretary General, Suleiman Abbah described PFN as an obscure, fringe group commissioned by politicians with dubious agenda to tarnish the reputation of the CBN Governor.

“We remember that PFN assumed embarrassing notoriety when it shamelessly made similar spurious allegations against NIRSAL which they blatantly fail to substantiate.

“This too, is just another sponsored attempt to distract Mr Emefile from his dedicated service for the country through diligent execution of meaningful intervention programmes he personally initiated.

“With so much media privileges affordable in a democracy, it is not uncommon for such fraudulent contraptions as the PFN to take advantage of the moment to do unpopular things.

“Ignorant and envious Groups like this one can be tolerated if they attempt to downplay the significance of the successes recorded by Mr Emefile around national economic turn around and particularly seeing the economy through two recessions within two years which is unprecedented globally,” NEN said.

“President Buhari’s lot is to assemble the Nigerians to advise him and take forward his vision. He will need people who will convey his concerns and compassion; who will reach and bring comfort to millions who suffer in an economy under recession; and people who will combine his personal integrity with competence and commitment.”

NEN noted however that discerning Nigerians are not wrong when they see President Buhari’s image and vision being adequately served by the quality and competence of people like Emeifile, assembled to work with him and see the nation through this difficult period.

“With Emeifile’s professional intervention and selfless commitment, President Buhari’s administration has done extremely well in managing the recession, in the all-important fight against corruption within the laws of the land, and in rebuilding a nation united around the values of justice and honest enterprise are not his enemies,” NEN said.

Our case against Emefiele – PFN

The Patriotic Front of Nigeria (PFN), a youth based civil society group, earlier called on members of the National Assembly, to as a matter of urgent public importance, investigate cases of financial misappropriation against the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele, the group alleged, had used the many CBN’s intervention funds for Nigerians in the post COVID-19 era and other resources of the apex bank, to service his political associates and for his 2023 presidential ambition.

The PFN, in a statement signed by the Convener, Comrade Tope Badmus and made available to newsmen Monday, alleged that Emafiele was consulting to contest the Nigeria’s President under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

The group also advised the CBN Governor to “immediately resign” his appointment, so as to protect the image, integrity and sanctity of the apex bank, which should be known for political neutrality and professionalism.

“The Patriotic Front of Nigeria (PFN) has watched with growing concern, the ongoing activities to actualize the presidential ambition of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in view of the inherent abuse that has seen him divert CBN’s resources in pursuit of his personal agenda.

“In recent weeks, Emefiele has personalized the apex bank’s resources for organizing political rallies and for questionable donations to political activities that have no bearing on the CBN’s role as a regulator of the financial sector. 

“It is most unfortunate that the CBN Governor is now doling out CBN’s funds to political jobbers that are organizing campaigns or other events for him. The practice increased because Mr. Emefiele continues to oblige such requests.  While this trend was initially perplexing, it is now clear that Mr. Emefiele’s unethical handling of CBN’s resources is directly linked to his political agenda. 

“In addition to this unethical behaviour, all the intervention programmes of the CBN under Mr. Emefiele are conduits for funneling public recourses to politicians, especially in the north, who he is banking on for support. These Emefiele’s political associates in turn use the funds given in guise of loans to service their political careers by allocating such interventions to their political underlings.

“Laudable programmes that were intended to provide succor to Nigerians and strengthen the economy were hijacked for political patronage by the CBN Governor, who should have been ensuring neutrality in the administration of these programmes.

“In view of the foregoing and the worsening performance of the naira under his watch, PFN hereby calls on Mr. Godwin Emefiele to toe the path of honour by immediately resigning as the Governor of CBN to pursue his political ambition.  He cannot continue to imperil the economy with his politicization of an organization that is programmed to run on neutrality and professionalism. 

“Also, we demand that the Senate and the House of Representatives investigate Mr. Emefiele’s tenure as CBN Governor to establish the extent to which the institution was converted into the finance department of his presidential campaign organization. The National Assembly must do the needful to succeed in this investigation”, the statement reads.

According to the group, “the real tragedy is that Nigeria’s economy has taken hits after hits while Mr. Emefiele focuses on his political sojourn, which he reportedly plans to actualize on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP). He has practically abandoned the actual running of the CBN to his pals in the Bankers Committee, which has effectively left economic decisions in the hand of commercial banks that the CBN is meant to regulate”. 

The PFN specifically asserted that, “the call from the Green Alliance for Mr.  Emefiele to contest for president in 2023 elections is the final proof that his continued stay in his current position no longer serves the CBN’s interest, neither does it portend well for Nigeria and Nigerians. He will now increase the use of CBN resources for organizing his presidential political rallies, which is not good for the economy”.

If nothing is done by the National Assembly, the group anticipated “more negative effects from the CBN Governor’s political interest on the economy”, stressing that it would get worse as Emefiele would roll out more unethical policies to curry favour from his associates.