Courage in the face of opposition
If the Sack of the Former Chief of Staff to president Goodluck Jonathan, Mike Oghiadome penultimate week came as a shock to many, the dramatic suspension of the Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi last Thursday has send a firm message that perhaps, President Goodluck Jonathan, who many have accused of being almost always unwilling to take tough decision when it is needed most, has finally cast off that toga.
Expectedly, the suspension of the CBN governor has drawn almost equal applause and condemnation from a cross section of the Nigerian people. While some people have argued that the suspension of the CBN governor was in violation of the laws guiding his appointment, others have argued that as the appointing authority, the president reserves the right to also remove whom he has appointed. Whether the president adhere to extant law on the removal of the governor of the central bank of Nigeria or not is the basis upon which Nigerians have continued to disagree with the latest action of the president.
But beyond the emotions that have trailed the latest decision of the president, there are several issues that need to be thoroughly interrogated. For instance, was the former CBN boss because of his garrulous revelations about certain malfeasances in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation? Was he removed because of his indiscrete exposure of the dirty linens in a government that he is a critical member? Or did he get kicked out because as it is alleged in certain circles, he is in better company with the opposition elements that with the government in which he is serving?
Though the president has stridently denied that Sansui’s removal has nothing to do with the insinuations in some circles about his whistle blowing role, such justification is expected. But there are critical issues that have come out that also need crucial close examination. For instance, is it within the purview of the Central Bank Governor to have acquired 7% shares of International Islamic Management Corporation of Malaysia to the tune of N0.743 billion without bringing such decision the attention of the President or the approval of the board?
How can the CBN explained some of its outlandish expenditure like its claim that that it paid Air Charter, such as payments to Emirate Airline (N0.511bn), Wing Airline (N0.425bn) and Associated Airline (N1.025bn) to distribute currency by air nationwide even though Emirate Airline does not fly local charter in Nigeria, Wing Airline is not registered with Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and Associated Airline does not have a billion turnover for 2011 because upon enquiry, the management claimed that they have no financial statements and have not had any significant operations for the past two years that will warrant preparation of financial statements?
Should the president have turned a blind eye to the alleged anomalies that were being perpetrated in the CBN even when such activities had potentials for profound implications on his government?
Events preceding the suspension of the CBN indicated that whether he was allowed to stay or not, any decision the president took concerning the suspended governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanuasi was bound to elicit profound reactions. Though president are elected by their countrymen to take tough decisions for the nation, President Jonathan’s decision on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was one that not many politicians would take in an election year that is proving very difficult by the day.
ROYAL FATHER DIPLOMACY
Meeting people from different walks of life is a normal routine for President Goodluck Jonathan. But when such people belong to a special class and they are all in states controlled by parties in opposition, then not a few eyebrows would be raised.
Last weekend, President Goodluck Jonathan visited first class traditional rulers in Kano, Oyo and Lagos states where he held closed door meeting with the Emir of Kano, the Ooni of Ife, the Alaafin of Oyo and the Akran of Badagry.
According to the Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, the visits by the president were to consult with critical stakeholders in the country. But the question that comes to mind is: was the choice of traditional rulers in states controlled by opposition deliberate or coincidental?
Has the visits got anything to do with the expected declaration of the president later this year whether or not he would contest the presidential election in 2015? Since the closed door meetings were held between the president and only the traditional rulers, there is no way of knowing what they might have discussed. But if the broad smiles and back patting from the royal fathers when they emerged from the inner recess of their palaces were anything to go by the meetings were certainly very successful.
THE QUESTION BALA MOHAMMED COULD NOT ANSWER.
Senator Bala Mohammed, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory is one man who prides himself as an accountable and principled public officer. At a time when majority of his colleagues in the senate were not forthcoming on whether to publicly support President Jonathan to be the acting president when the late president Umar Yaradua was incapacitated, Bala Mohammed as a senator stuck out his mate to support Jonathan.
He was compensated with the position of the Minister of the FCT, a position he has held till now.
As a minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed has never shied away from defending the policies of the FCT administration no matter how controversial.
From naming a district in the FCT after President Jonathan to the controversial Land swap, Senator Bala Mohammed has been most vocal in defending such policies.
But Senator Bala Mohammed’s gift of the garb deserted him last week Wednesday.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim while rolling out the activities for the centenary celebration, he insisted that all the programmes were being sponsored by the private sector and government was not committing a dime to funding the project.
But when he disclosed that the International Conference Centre and areas around the National Station stadium, two venues to host some of the events are being renovated, curiosity took the better of state house correspondents. Is the renovation of the international conference centre and the national stadium being funded by the Private sector too?
This was one question that Senator Bala Mohammed with his gift of the garb and his position as the chairman venues committee could not answer.