• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Emefiele in the dragon’s den

Emefiele in the dragon’s den

Godwin Emefiele. Like him or hate him, he is one of the notable personalities that has shaped Nigeria in 2023. With a stroke of his pen, he brought all Nigerians to their lowest common multiple (LCM) – down on their knees. Doing the bidding of his master, President Muhammadu Buhari, in February this year, he changed the face of the Nigerian currency.

The change had a noble intent – to deny politicians the opportunity of buying votes with money. But the planning and execution were so shoddy. The result was that Nigerians, both rich and poor, could not access their funds. They returned the old currency to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but couldn’t get the new currency. Poverty was democratized. Few Nigerians were amused, particularly the politicians whose game plans were targeted.

To be fair to Emefiele, his office lamented that new currencies had been released. But they never got to starving Nigerians.

Again, it seemed that Buhari lost the power game a second time, after failing to secure the nomination of his preferred candidate as the flag bearer of his party at the presidential election.

I was taught in Politics 101 that power is the ability to change the possibility of outcomes.

A power opposed to Buhari had arisen in his own party and was flooring the president in every way. His name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Call him the master of Nigeria’s underground and you’ll be right. He mercilessly cut the grounds around the president then. A bitter Buhari turned a cheerleader in the final minute when he was rightly accused of not supporting his party’s candidate. Buhari was totally routed and the man who had given him the presidency, collected the same for himself, caring little about finesse. And his camp never forgave those that stood in its way. Enter Emefiele.

Godwin Emefiele had been appointed the CBN governor by then President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 for a five-year term. Against political permutations, Buhari retained him for a second term in 2019. Emefiele was servile to Buhari and did his every bidding, including the hare-brained currency change. Whoever told them that politicians kept looted funds in naira? How would they store the currency? Not when there are convertible currencies in which one note would exchange for a bucketful of naira. Needless to say, Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu, beat them in their own game.

Even before the currency change, Emefiele had become a marked man. Even while he remained the president’s lapdog, the Department of State Security (DSS) went after him last year. Hints about sponsorship of terrorism and malfeasance were dropped. If Buhari was convinced about sponsorship of terrorism, he would simply have tossed Emefiele into the fireplace. For malfeasance, who wasn’t hefting public funds with pay loaders under Buhari?

Emefiele ran to court when the DSS tried to arrest him, and got an injunction forbidding the DSS, police, indeed all security forces and the CBN from arresting, detaining, interrogating and prosecuting him. Indeed, soldiers were deployed as his security.

Finally, Buhari handed over to Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 28. Just over a week later, Jagaban opened the book of records. Emefiele was suspended as CBN governor on June 9, and the very next day, the DSS arrested him. He has been in the dragon’s den since.

It matters little that there is a subsisting court order that forbids his arrest. He has since secured some two more orders for his release. But who cares?

Read also: DSS defies court ruling, rearrests Emefiele

Does anyone remember how many court orders Nnamdi Kanu got for his release while Buhari was in power? But the DSS never paid heed. Disobeying court orders seems to be an All Progressives Congress (APC) sport. It matters little that Emefiele ran to be the presidential candidate of this party. Indeed, that made matters worse for him for it was while he ran that he disclosed that he was Igbo. That ran counter to the narrative adopted by his Agbor people since the civil war for survival. The conquistadors will now give him the treatment they have reserved for the Igbos since 1967.

Perhaps Emefiele thought it was a joke when Oba Akiolu of Lagos threatened Igbos that he would have them drowned in the lagoon if they didn’t follow the political direction of his adopted nephew and benefactor, the Jagaban. Now, he will know better.

Recall that after the December 1983 coup that toppled Shehu Shagari, the president who signed off all policies was held under house arrest, while Alex Ekwueme, his vice president was held in conventional prison.

Would the Jagaban and his valiant forces ever touch Buhari whose every bidding Emefiele did? Never! You can bet your life on it. One nation, multiple destinies. Shame on the government of the day! Fairness is Greek in Nigeria.