The two most important citizens in Nigeria succeeded some weeks ago to keep Nigerians ontheir toes. Indeed so many of them went as far as having their blood pressure raised, for obvious reasons; not because their Naira is billed to wear a new look, rather, because some of them are destined to suffer eternal and excruciating losses arising from the two men’s ‘wise’ thinking. The two of themmaintain enviable places of honour and prestige –one is President and the other is governor. Are those not enviable positions? Don’t make a mistake about it, the second man is not governor of a state. But both men have something in common. One is the president of the country and the other one governorof one of the most essential sectors in the nation’s economy: the banking sector. The former controls the geographical space of Nigeria and the people therein, including their very survival. That is to say he proverbially holds the knife and the yam, and cutsfor anyone he wishes.
You may think that the man has the world in his pockets with such an enormous power and area of coverage. He even appoints the governor and all others that work with him in keeping the country going. But like George Orwell said in his Animal Farm, ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others, some of the President’s appointees are sopowerful than others, including what the Presidentcan control. The man, Godwin Emefiele, is the man.With his position as CBN governor, his ‘moving’ power is slightly above that of the President, because he controls the substance of power. And Emefiele has a tall ambition. In fact, Emefiele’s ambition is not only tall but also very fast. He dreams dreams and imagines the impossible. Some believe that Emefiele’s ambition is that wild because he has a Buhari as his backbone and had entered into ‘you rob my back and I rob yours agreement’ since.
It can still be remembered that such accord was what gave Emefiele the impetus to grow larger than his shirt. Perhaps Buhari was watching with admiration how Godwin Emefiele was testing the waters with both legs; he attempted to thrust his legs into the President’s shoes while still wearing his own. As would be remembered, it was Emefiele who opted to become president of the country while still keeping his position as the Central Bank governor. He used the same party as the President, the APC. ONLY God knows what would have become of him if he was not dragged out by the testicles. Emefielewas screened out but without seeing the wrongs in his action.
The two gentlemen, President Buhari and Governor Emefiele, have something in common – they jointly control how Nigeria breaths . They wittingly or unwittingly determine the value of your Naira and how it affects your life. With professional-cum-criminal intents the man at the apex bank advices the ‘unschooled connivance’ of the President and together the two men decide the fate of Nigeria. Isn’t that the most important aspects of governance, the control of power and the substance of power?
Little wonder then why there have been muchturmoil expressing the possible fear of the two men attempting an undue immortalization of some persons with the proposed redesigned Naira notes. The first and most likely candidate for the scheme is seen as the President. The possible conspiracy to emboss President Buhari’s portrait on the redesignedNaira note is not strange. Such expression have been deafening but not without its possibility. Situations in Nigeria had shown that our leaders employ a lot ofcunnings in their dealings with the people by not talking straight. But should that eventually come to pass, then, Nigerians would have enough reasons to disbelieve everything Buhari and all his claim oftrying to rebuild Nigera. He could be seen as anincurable autocrat who was all along trying to change Nigeria for his own selfish benefits.
But I still think that Buhari would know better than embark on such an ignoble self-serving venture. History, from the days of biblical Ceaser, had informed that those whose images are embossed on their currency notes should be dead first to be that honourable. Our President is not dead. He would therefore be wishing himself dead if he should buy into the scam. The Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerians were recently told, has been removed from the country’s Ministry of Finance and put directly in the Presidency. May be our memory has failed us on that. But I still think that whatever must have warranted such separation and movement was not without some streak of criminality.
There are cases to confirm that President Buhari and Governor Emefiele are two friends who can do a lot of things together including the most absurd. But Istill cherish the news that our Naira is going to be ‘rebranded’. That information coming from the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, was both cheering as well as revealing. The inner sensibilities and cunning of the workings of our governmentcould be described as superb. Who says our leaders do not keep their eyes and ears to the ground whereordinary or common people like you and I do not perceive. That is why Mr Emefiele was able to collate and reveal the cheering but sordid news to the Nigerian public, that 80 per cent of the money that is supposed to be serving Nigeria is in private hands and homes, only 20 per cent can be accounted for by the apex bank.
What this means is that 80 per cent of the money that was supposed to serve Nigeria and Nigerians is currently in the hands of unpatriotic Nigerians. But I disagree with some of the reasons given. The language should be straight, that so much has been stolen which some need to be put out of use before 2023 election. The claim that such activity will drain kidnappers’ purse may not be very true or appropriate. We are only trying to point out areas that sap our energy. Kidnapping and banditary activitiesin the country have been activities that leaders have over time resorted to scratching their heads in confusion. We have been hearing of our leaders warning Nigerians not to pay any ransom to kidnapers, but have not equally have a way of stopping the menace nor a manner of curtailing the execution of their victims if ransom fails to go to them.
Ours has been a regime of confusion – like government has been warning the public against payment of money to police as money for bail but without cautioning the police authority against such. They usually make a sing song of the issue – even pasting the order at conspicuous places in their offices that bail is free. But money for bail becomes the first thing to be discussed in police office, and received before any detainee regains their freedom. Causing kidnapers’ pockets fortune to dry up, to me is not the main reason why our Naira notes are to be redesigned. I can swear to my grandfather’s grave. Iam seeing it as a scheme, one, to do in opposition and two, to flush out money in the hands of unscrupulous Nigerians that have over time not been able to tame their itching fingers. In fact, the Nigerian authority can be deeply worried than you and I, that Nigeria could harbour such number of blind thieves that we choose to euphemize as ‘corrupt people’.
I have often said that the rate at which those havingopportunity in government steal money from the system a time will come that children will begin to haunt their fathers, asking why they did not steal money when others were stealing. Surely, it will happen. But my honest advice to our President is that he should not try immortalising himself on the Naira notes while alive, I believe Nigerians would be generous enough to accord him such honour posthumously if he so deserves it.