BY: STEVE OSUJI
APC is currently like a bull in a China shop. It can also be likened to a plane caught up in a deathly turbulence and the pilots are in a frenzied confusion. The All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in Nigeria is in a most pitiable situation right now.
What’s going on can only ascribed to divine manifestation, part of the eternal design to take Nigeria out of bondage. Though the APC gang is fighting dirty and poor Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) is currently their fall guy but Nigeria will have Emefiele to thank someday after the hurly-burly’s is done and good wins against evil.
Though Emefiele may suffer today because he currently has a poor public relations arising from recent occurrences, information available suggests that the CBN head has been the pillar holding the ramshackle APC government in the last couple of years.
Here’s a bit of the background story as pieced together by EXPRESSO. President Muhammadu Buhari had late last year directed Emefiele to do something about the galloping inflation and high food prices worsting Nigerians. Part of the recommendations was to mop up the huge cash stockpile of politicians through a coded and simple naira notes tweak.
President Buhari had immediately approved this policy. And for it to succeed, it was to be top secret and to be closed-circuited until objectives were almost achieved. Recall that Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed unwittingly protested openly that she wasn’t in the know about the policy. But she was immediately hushed by the presidency and made to understand that the CBN governor doesn’t report to her.
But naira redesign in a turbulent polity with a weakened presidency run by cells of cabals and super-rich politicians with huge cash pile must be one helluva task. The imminent general elections didn’t help matters. All these obstacles were laid out to the president but he was his characteristic self, adamant.
But no sooner were the dates and deadlines announced than all hell broke loose. Apart from the Finance Minister, who couldn’t manage her angst, various cabals set to work.
The cabal in charge of the DSS unleashed the hounds on Emefiele. The very unsmart group accused him of funding terror. How preposterous and phoney can a state agency get? They pursued the CBN governor all over Abuja like a common criminal. Emefiele had to escape abroad in the guise of taking a Christmas break.
President Buhari was shielded from this drama. It was only when he came round that Emefiele returned and he had to be ring-fenced with soldiers.
But Emefiele’s troubles were not over. The various cabals in the presidency had to be managed and assuaged. The National Assembly (NASS) moved in on him and raised the noise decibel.
They had their cash-stash to protect too: they were managed and reassured. The moneyed northern power blocs, not forgetting the kidnap merchants, were also sorted.
The governors group weighed in. They are the real cash Sheikhs. This column wagers that each Nigerian governor probably has at least N5billion cash-pile somewhere in his lodge or out houses. Governors are probably the biggest cabal bloc in Nigeria. Emefiele dialogued with them. It was apt that Chukwuma Soludo, Anambra State governor, a former CBN governor heads a committee to manage the governor’s demands.
Our rapacious governors were calmed. Whatever Emefiele told them, your guess is as good as mine. Let’s just say he managed them for your sake and mine. But the other day, a governor was said to have been found with about N500million new notes.
Emefiele’s troubles came from the most unlikeliest quarters – members of the government ie, top APC guns. Apparently, they seem to have the hugest cash warehouse and therefore, they believe they are the target of the policy.
Today, APC is fighting tooth and nail against its own government and its policies. APC has thrown caution to the wind now. They are doing everything to sabotage the policy, the government and even the elections if it becomes necessary.
APC governors and gunners led by the malignant Governor Nasir el Rufai of Kaduna State have let loose all systems. They had worked the NASS, they railroaded the now malleable Supreme Court; they are mopping up the new currency and most asinine, they are rousing the populace to riots. That’s APC, desperate and gung-ho!
Most galling, APC has deployed all the media arsenal at their disposal to assail poor Godwin Emefiele. They mock him, abuse him and demonize him.
APC governors, at least 10 of them are said to be ravenously mopping the new notes so that it doesn’t get to the people and perhaps, cause them to agitate.
By Wednesday February 15th when the CBN deadline for de-legalizing the old notes came, no new notes were found on the streets, markets, supermarkets – no new notes, and melancholy was like a blanket over the country.
As this piece was being produced, news filtered in that Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki has threatened to arrest former APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole for working up the populace to wrath.
Questions: why is APC so desperate to sabotage the new currency policy? Could it be true that APC banked on cash for votes to win the February elections? How far can APC go? Would they pull down even their own government? Would they torpedo the elections?
Finally, poor Emefiele is left swimming in a sea of sharks and barracudas. Can he devise smarter ways of beating the bad guys to their devious games? Will his boss, President Buhari who pushed him into this boondoggle policy stand by him and wave the big stick against these errant fellows?
Who blinks first, who wins? Time will tell.