Fashola, Sanusi, el-Rufai and the APC

on   /   in Viewpoint 9:30 am   /   Comments

WHEN Sanusi Lamido Sanusi lost his job, and chose to head for Lagos rather than Abuja where he has a home, many did not read much meaning into it, until it emerged that he was to be received by the All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftains led by, none other than  Mallam Nasir el Rufai, in posh cars made available by prominent Lagosians.

That singular act confirmed stories that had  made the rounds in exclusive circles that some of the chieftains of the party had met with the financial rabble rouser in one of the financial capitals of the world, and perfected a grand plan to ruffle Abuja’s feathers, as a step to gain political capital and preparatory to his joining the party.

Either he neglected to tell them about his alleged financial misdemeanours or he told them and the plot was to get him out there, make so much noise about the always-tainted Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, so that any disciplinary measure against him would be seen as persecution.

But he succeeded halfway as it has now emerged he operated a house muddied by alleged financial recklessness.  To think that President Goodluck Jonathan had this information since June last year and did nothing about it is, to say the least, either an evidence of his naivety or a large-heartedness that is not for a clime like ours.

It is much more confounding that with all this information, Jonathan tried persuading the ‘Emperor’ of Nigeria’s financial institutions to resign but rebuffed him and perhaps told the story of his encounter with the President on phone to THISDAY newspapers that carried it weeks ago.  It is therefore no wonder that, now that the APC deep-throat in government has fallen from his high horse, those presenting warped logic over his sack are apologists from the APC.

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, said: “You see, I don’t understand this kind of economic management. If the man is going in June, there must be a sense in which messaging about executive tampering with the independence of the Central Bank has economic consequences for investor positioning.  This is not a suspension; it’s a sack really because it’s only there’s no power to sack him and they have looked and looked and looked and they have said: we suspend. It’s a sack really.  The message you are sending out is that it is better to keep quiet about corruption.  That’s what it seems to me.”

Is that so, Governor Fashola?   Would he dare take on Tinubu the way Sanusi took on Jonathan?  We all know he would be impeached within the five working days of the week; so, stop pontificating.  Fashola said further: “For me really, if someone in my government tells me that some money is missing and without concluding any investigation, they suspended the person who blew the whistle. It is when the audit is concluded that they can now decide what to do to the man.  But now, before the completion of the audit, they have sacked the man who alerted the head of the government that money is missing.”

Interesting! Why not hire an audit firm from Chicago to audit the tax system in Lagos State since he became governor and see whether Lagosians, at least the true ones, will allow him sit in Alausa, and continue to report to that godfather of his.  And who, except Sanusi, is saying that money is missing?  In the legal profession where he comes from, does the word of one inconsistent loud talking banker confirm a misdeed, even if there was one?

“So what message is the Presidency sending out to Nigerians on corruption and others who may want to reveal any atrocity committed in the country?” you asked sir, and you went ahead to answer the same question thus: “The message the Presidency is sending out is that Nigerians should keep quiet whenever they see any corruption perpetrated in the country. That is not a good sign for the economy.”

Your Excellency, you are completely wrong, and if your sense of history does not serve you well, I will remind you that no one in all our history has been able to cow us as has been done in other climes, even Western ones.  You want an example, Sir? I will give you only one: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.  He has been running riot with his mouth for the past three years like a political governor rather than a financial one who should not rock the boat of state; but remained there because the President, for some inexplicable reason, trusted him and knew Nigerians wanted a breed like him.  But it got into his head, and if you read the papers with their deluge of his alleged financial recklessness, should we also say it got into his pocket?

Governor Fashola, please, remove your APC toga for a few minutes and answer this question: Should such a man have been retained?  Should the amiable Lagos Governor not be aware, may be it would be necessary for him to be told that the President had been told since the first week of June last year, a clear eight months and three weeks ago, to fire the man and his deputies.

As a newspaper put it: “The decision to suspend the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido, was based on a report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria dated June 7, 2013. The report was made after a review of Sanusi’s response to the query issued to him by the President over the apex bank’s financial statement of 2012. His response was dated May 20, 2013.

“According to a copy of the report obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, the council indicates that the explanation provided by the suspended CBN governor is ‘a clear display of incompetence, nonchalance, fraud, wastefulness, and abuse of due process and deliberate efforts to misrepresent facts on the part of the leadership of the CBN.’  The council advised the President to exercise the powers conferred on him by Section 11(2)(f) of the CBN Act 2007 or invoke Section 11(2)(c) of the said Act ‘and cause the governor and the deputy governors to cease from holding office in the CBN’.”

What more is there to say about this prince of Kano who rattled about like a commoner and acted in very un-princely ways? Those things that have propelled him to engage in a macabre dance will fully unravel in the next few weeks or months, no doubt.

Mr. SYLVESTER OKORO, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Lagos

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