It is no more news that the two-term Governor of the CBN, uncle Emefiele has thrown his hat in the crocodile-infested ring of Presidential elections. Not the one to be held in 2027 by which time he would have served out his 2nd term. No. We are talking of the 2023 elections for which aspirants are jostling now to get their party’s ticket at the primaries taking place shortly. Join our Content Creation Academy
In the soft-spoken Governor’s second term for which our parliament, the people’s representatives, cleared him twice following the popularly elected President’s coveted nomination.
A few records have been set. Under him, the Mint returned to ballot paper printing using the best-in-class technology and state-of-the-art equipment installed at breakneck speed to meet impossible deadlines that amazed Prof. Jega, then INEC chair.
Yours sincerely managed that project that was hailed as the best ever delivered to time, costs, and quality specifications.
And that project sure gave the currency and security document printers a new lease of life and bottom-line bragging rights contribution that enabled the entire company to declare a twelve-billion-naira profit in no time. That the goose that laid that golden egg was left high and dry is a different matter.
He launched the current hundred naira note which was also successfully domesticated after the initial overseas printing. The technology used in that note was new and first in Africa and successfully transferring that technology is a major achievement to him, and again, to me too who suffered the main pangs of that delivery.
In recent times, he also bedded the e-Naira, another technology-driven innovation whose embrace though, has been anything but impressive.
The value of the naira to the dollar has been a question for debate and is a discounting factor in an otherwise stellar performance. That cannot be adduced totally to the gentleman though the buck stops on his table.
Even now that the electioneering processes are in full swing, naira value could get close to toilet paper (God forbid!) due to the expected stupendous offloading of hidden US dollars by politicians jostling to become this or that.
In this dollarized game, the ex-this ex-that has a massive war chest and Naira will nose-dive further as soon as the delegates collect their shares after the APC and PDP primaries…
As politicians, their spokesmen, and supporters are wont to do when things go awry, I will also attempt to exempt the bankers’ banker from this mess and blame it on his advisers.
Those advisers who put it in his innocent head that he can be a player, referee, and VAR at the same time! And as an unsuspecting, ever trusting technocrat unfamiliar with the wily ways of the game of the possible, he simply, like the tilapia of Oroghodo river, swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, and what is more, even the fisherman was swallowed in this spectacular case! Blame it on these incompetent and greedy advisers.
He was misadvised. To buy the form. Not for Governorship. When my bosom friend, CBN Deputy Governor wanted to run, he resigned his position. But these ‘advisers’ discounted that bold due process move. They must have salivated over the prospect of eating their cake and having it still!
They probably told Emefiele he was already a two-term governor though with a small ‘g’ without the “Excellency’ protocol. So, they advised, go for the ultimate like other two-term Governors like Umahi, Uzor, even the Professor with a funny haircut befitting grammar that Cross Riverians get bewildered with when obfuscation will serve his ends. Or even a Tinubu, the elderly statesman who just updated his resume with ‘El Rufai’s chaffeur’ as an addendum!
It was his mis-advisers my friend. That told him it did not matter that his subsidiary prints the ballot papers and the stock of the printed ballots and ‘sensitive’ electoral materials are always stored in his supposedly impartial custody.
That, these calculating advisers must have claimed, is the ultimate advantage. We just pre-print the thumb prints pro-actively and distribute to the areas of strength of the opposition, and voilà, we win even before the umpire blows the start whistle! An innovative way to arrive Aso Rock via a Keke napep. Easy, cheap ride in an ‘air-conditioned’ contraption without compressors. These advisers self! Who talked about blind seers? Not me….
Why does those idle analysts now focus only on one candidate leaving the rest alone? Why is Emefiele the only one trending in social media? The appointees ordered by PMB to resign are ‘not in the same category’ with him.
Those are mere appointees without the power of life or death over the naira. So, the advisers were alleged to have told him. And funding problem is non-existent as favoured BDCs are capable of quid pro quo. Sorry about the Latin. In our home-grown English that is called ‘You wash my back, I wash your back’. But my Fulani friends claim that that parable does not apply to a kuturu.
I could not ask him to explain that strange word because he was in a hurry to find the balance to make up his one hundred million passcode and left me dumbfounded!
Enter the SAN. My brother the erudite litigant probably sees this as a human rights issue. As the advisers rightfully and promptly advised. Why prevent a man from taking advantage of his vantage position? ‘Human rights abuse’ chorused the various advisers, some technical, some monetary, others economic.
Go to court and win, the courts are fair they said. Now, no comment on things they call subjudice even though a review was done at Aso Rock. And they advised their principal to keep smiling under pressure to confuse these analytic interlopers.
I miss the SAM, the late Senior Advocate of the Masses. He would have sued the hell out of these advisers for making their principal trend so massively, and negatively, in all media – social, newspaper, TV talk shows and showless talks, even radio stations broadcasting in pidgin because they couldn’t get good English speakers due to frequent ASUU strikes. These advisers even misspelt ASUU writing it as ARSu. I hope that was pun intended!
I see a TV station craftily dodging the issue and trying desperately to creatively avoid the fray in case Emefiele wins the Presidency. Or loses it. If they weigh in now, head or tail they would lose.
So, they decided to avoid this hot potato by focusing on massive coverage of secondhand news from Ukraine. They regurgitate photos and videos we have seen more than a month before and reanalyze what has been analyzed ad infinitum and derive joy from stipulating what has been previously stipulated.
Then they add sprinklings from the Taliban’s Afghanistan and Elon Musk’s plan to purchase Twitter. Smart guys. Their forex request will be processed without hitches.
The only argument that makes this adviser-bashing glamorous is that the aspirant is also an adviser to Aso Rock. And could justifiably be saddled with the blames concerning what has happened in the economy and to the economy. Especially the orthopedic case of the battered national currency with actions that seem to defend the dollar.
At Large. 14th May 2022 – Austin Isikhuemen
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