THE Labour Party (LP) has condemned Godwin Emefiele’s removal as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), calling President Bola Tinubu to investigate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rather than the apex bank.
Tinubu had suspended Emefiele yesterday, citing an “ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector.”
However, in a statement issued today by LP spokesman Obiorah Ifo, the party condemned the move as unconstitutional.
“It is laughable to read that statement as most Nigerians are already aware of the intention of the government. If indeed, there is any government agency that should be investigated with this utmost urgency, should it not be the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu?” the statement wondered.
“The leadership of the Labour Party is disturbed by the decision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to suspend/sack the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, albeit unconstitutionally without seeking the permission of the national assembly and we insist that the action was not in good taste and sounds punitive,” the party added.
The LP recalled the Emefiele-led CBN’s naira swap strategy, which it said harmed the political class, adding that the former apex bank governor was only the “fall guy” whose “sin” of carrying out the currency redesign could not be forgiven.
It cited a 2014 statement by then-House Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, who criticized ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s ouster of Sanusi Lamido as CBN governor on the grounds that the Nigerian leader lacked such authority.
LP, on the other hand, was perplexed as to what had changed.
“Most Nigerians will not forget in a hurry the famous Naira redesign policy initiated by Emefiele primarily to check vote buying in the last general election. A noble policy which a particular candidate then, unfortunately, believed was targeted at him. To him, it was a mortal sin which cannot be forgiven and must be punished. Labour Party believes that Emefiele, a fall guy, is paying for his “sin”,” the statement read in part.