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Monday, 24 February 2014

2015 elections: Emirs lobby lawmakers against Jonathan

sanusi lamido sanusi
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*** Don’t politicise Sanusi’s sack, PDP tells APC
The visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to some traditional rulers in the North notwithstanding, some emirs are silently working against his second term ambition, National Mirror learnt at the weekend.
A top politician in Abuja told National Mirror that the humiliating suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on Tuesday last week and the failure to curtail the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East are some of the grouses the Emirate Councils of the North have against the President.
The source also said that the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, was specifically miffed that security agencies in the country were yet to fish out the culprits responsible for the recent attack on his convoy in Kano, despite promises to that effect by the President.
“The emirs are not happy with the situation in the country, especially the unwarranted suspension of the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido. So you can be sure that they would contact the senators and members of the House of Representatives to work against the PDP in the 2015 elections. And they are actually doing just that as we speak.
“The visit of his Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan to emirs is good, but I don’t think they are impressed with his handling of the security situation in the North, specifically the North East, where despite more than six years of emergency rule, the bombs continue to go off. The President, I must tell you has not done enough to impress the Emirs,” he said.
The House of Representatives had on Thursday lampooned the President for arbitrarily suspending the CBN Governor.
The House passed a resolution declaring the action illegal and unconstitutional after a motion sponsored by Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osagie was passed.
The House, with Speaker Aminu Tambuwal presiding, had ruled that the decision breached section 11(7) of the CBN Act, which provides for sack of the apex bank boss with the approval of the Senate and not suspension.
But the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Ali Ahmad (Kwara-APC) when contacted said he was yet to be approached by any emir, but would consider it when approached.
Repeated efforts to reach principal officers of the House from the North, Hon. Garbi Datti (APC-Kaduna), Hon. Ishaku Bawa (PDPTaraba) and Hon. Suleiman Kawu (APC-Kano) to respond to the said move by the emirs, failed at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Party, APC, are again at each other’s jugular over the suspension of CBN Governor.
While the PDP condemned attempts by certain individuals and groups to politicise the suspension of Sanusi, the opposition party accused the Presidency of seeking to use the suspension to divert attention from the allegation of missing $20bn oil funds.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said the issues leading to Sanusi’s suspension strictly bordered on the management of the nation’s economy and urged Nigerians to disregard those attempting to politicise or introduce sentiments into the matter.
Supporting the suspension, the party said it has “implicit confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan and his efforts to ensure the stability and growth of the economy”, adding that the decision was in the best interest of the nation.
The party also dismissed insinuations that the suspension was aimed at silencing a whistle blower and promoting corruption.
It said after thorough analysis of the issues surrounding the suspension, “it was clear that the decision was in tandem with the commitment of the Federal Government to safeguard the CBN and the entire financial sector from abuses.”
The PDP said the findings of the Financial Reporting Council revealed series of administrative recklessness in the CBN which are “very weighty and cannot be swept under the carpet of politics and sentiments.”
Debunking suggestions that the suspension will negatively affect the economy, the PDP observed that instead, it has restored confidence in the financial sector and in government’s ability to check abuses harmful to the system.
It urged Nigerians not to be swayed by those seek ing to play politics with the matter adding that Sanusi should have nothing to fear if he has no skeleton in his cupboard.
But APC, in a statement issued in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the way the Presidency has been campaigning to malign the CBN Governor, using the report of the obscure Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, shows that it is working hard to sweep the issue of the missing funds under the carpet and punish Sanusi for daring to expose the fraud.
It said if the Federal Government had used half the energy it has been deploying to discredit Sanusi toward the investigation of the missing oil funds, the monumental corruption case would have been solved by now.
“Irrespective of the tepid and unconvincing denial by the Presidency, it is clear that the main reason the Presidency moved against Sanusi is because he blew the lid on the $20bn funds, which the NNPC allegedly failed to remit to the Federation Account.
“Fortunately, discerning Nigerians are not hoodwinked by the Presidency’s choreographed mudslinging against a whistle blower, and the sponsored campaign that amounts to shooting the messenger just because his message is not palatable.
“While the Presidency has chosen to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians over the missing oil funds, we call on the National Assembly to get to the bottom of Sanusi’s allegation and save Nigerians from a rapacious and a rampaging cabal that is hell bent on bringing Nigeria to its knees through runaway corruption,” APC said.
The party said the questions that are begging for answers include: What happened to the missing $20bn? If indeed a part of the funds has been used for kerosene subsidy, who authorised the spending of money that was not appropriated, in violation of the nation’s constitution? Who reinstated the subsidy that had been removed by a presidential directive? If $8.76bn of the missing money was used for kerosene subsidy, who and who are the beneficiaries, since it is clear that Nigerians are not enjoying any subsidy on kerosene for which they are shelling out at least N150 per litre?
It re-stated its earlier stand that Sanusi’s suspension is unlawful and that it is another dangerous turn in the Jonathan administration’s journey of impunity, lawlessness and double standards.
APC said the drop in the value of the naira and the fact that the banking sector and other stocks spiralled into negative territory, in the aftermath of the suspension, have shown the dangers inherent in politicising an office that should be insulated from political pressure.
“There are just shortterm repercussions. The long-term fallout may be the scaring off of foreign investors by the perception of instability in the financial sector and the erosion of the CBN’s autonomy.
“If and when that happens, a President who has so far failed to uplift his nation’s economy would have succeeded in sabotaging it,” the party said.
On the allegations against Sanusi, it said the Federal Government should charge him to court, if indeed it is convinced of the veracity of the allegations, instead of convicting him on the pages of newspapers and mob-lynching him through paid hatchet men. In a related development, a former Minister of State for Education, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, has urged the Federal Government to exercise caution and reconsider its action, even as she described the suspension of Sanusi as untimely.
Speaking in Ilaro, Ogun State at the weekend, the former senator noted that, if Sanusi had committed certain offences contrary to the law establishing the CBN he should have been sanctioned before now.
 
NationalMirror

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