The Arewa Youth Assembly, a socio-economic and socio-political group has called for the resignation or sacking of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.
According to the northern group, doing so will save the nation from further economic meltdown.
They insisted that the sum of N500 billion which was stolen in a private Dubai investment towards the end of 2018 should be investigated as well as other funds that went missing during Emefiele’s administration.
SaharaReporters had in May 2019 made public a phone conversation of Emefiele; his deputy, Edward Lametek Adamu; Director for Finance, Dayo M. Arowosegbe and one of the Special Advisers to the CBN Governor, Emmanuel Ukeje discussing how to cover up the loss of over N500 billion stolen from the CBN in a private investment that collapsed.
Two audio files, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, revealed how the governor and top officials of the apex bank discussed plots to conceal the loss of huge sums of money in a Dubai investment.
The CBN claimed the audio conversation was genuine but no money was missing from the bank.
Isaac Okorafor, Director Corporate Communications had said: “The selective conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolve it.
Obviously, it soon became clear that a state government's loan cannot be classified as 'bad' or 'irrecoverable' when the state still exists and getting FAAC allocations.”
However, in a petition written by Emefiele to the Inspector General of Police, he confirmed that the audio was authentic and this time raised the alarm that his phone had been bugged and that there was a breach of security at the apex bank.
He also asked the Inspector General of Police to investigate the audio leak.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Mohammed Salihu Danlami and Abdulsalam Kazeem; Speaker and Deputy Speaker of AYA respectively alongside other group’s leaders urged the CBN Governor to resign over his alleged inability to stabilise the country’s bleeding economy.
The group said, “As you may be aware of happenings in the past couple of days on issue bordering on the untold hardship the Nigerian masses are being subjected to as a result of poor economic policies and decisions of the country's apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under Mr Godwin Emefiele's stewardship.
“For the umpteenth time, some of the issues we have raised which our attackers and their sponsors have not been able to intellectually counter are enumerated below for the purpose of those seeing them for the first time:
“The drastic and steep devaluation of the Naira against other currencies even in Africa, Mr Emefiele met the naira exchanging against the American dollar at 1$ to ₦170 but today under his stewardship of the apex bank, it is 1$ to ₦575. This happens as a result of poor economic policies of the CBN and it has been postulated that if nothing is done, a dollar will exchange for N1,000 before the end of this year. That will not be good for Nigerians who struggle daily to earn their living.
“It was gathered that the CBN failed to remit about N800 billion to the Federal Government and haven't submitted the audited report of the apex bank to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation since 2010.
“Under the watch of Mr Emefiele as CBN boss, ₦150 billion NIRSAL loan money got missing. Dishing of Bureau-de-Change (BDC) licenses to unprofessional agents, most of who are his friend's allies, has further plunged the naira into further devaluation since these have only used these windows for selfish purposes at the expense of other 200 million Nigerians.
“Misappropriation of funds of the bank to serve his selfish secret presidential ambition. ₦500 billion stolen from the CBN towards the end of 2018 in a private Dubai investment that went sour should be properly investigated.
“We wonder why the issues raised are not been addressed, rather, they choose to use thugs and miscreants to engage us on a smear campaign that holds no water. They launched media campaigns against us, publishing and airing all manner of falsehood against us to turn Mr President against us.
“The thugs and miscreants hired by Mr Emefiele are by their actions dragging the name of President Muhammadu Buhari in the mud. Though this is nothing new because this same class of people are the ones who criticise the President Buhari-led federal government at every opportunity, right from the inception of his administration.
“We suspect that Mr Emefiele is the one who is sponsoring every of their smear campaign against Mr President and everyone who stands for the truth. It is noteworthy that, this same set of people who claim to be defending the CBN Governor cannot come out with superior arguments on the issues we raised and, we urge the Presidential media team to take a closer look at each of these points for action.
“The question that keeps begging for an answer is that, why is it that the same set of persons who have never seen anything right about this administration and will always jump up in the attack of Mr President via every medium available to them will be the same persons defending the CBN Governor?
“We buttress again that these individuals are being hired to do so. It also clarifies our much earlier suspicion that all of their previous attacks on the government through CUPP, Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, Arewa Consultative Youth Movement, etc. are being paid for.
“The attack on the Arewa Youth Assembly and purported impeachment of its Speaker, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, are laughable because they are merely campaigns of calumny meant to silence our voices but they have failed on arrival. We want to assure these enemies of a strong Nigerian economy that, these voices of reason will continue to speak up in the defence of the truth which shall be revealed soon.
“As we can no longer sit and fold our hands while things go beyond bounds, we at the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) a few days ago took the bull by the horn and confront the key challenge facing us. As a result, we came up with three(3) possible leeway that can put an end to this quagmire: That Mr Emefiele voluntarily resigns since he is deemed incompetent, totally out of ideas and has become a burden to the Nigerian economic system.
“We ask that Mr President sack Emiefele now before it becomes too late to reshape the Nigerian economy in such a way that it has a positive impact on the life of a common man in the street. Mr Emefiele has constituted himself a mole in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr Emefiele has demonstrated he is a cog in the wheel of progress by making rubbish of all of Mr President's lofty initiatives aimed at bettering the lives of Nigerians thus pitching many Nigerians against Mr President.
“If any of the two (2) above fails to happen, we will occupy the premises of the apex bank permanently to press home our demands until Mr Emefiele resigns or he is sacked by Mr President. A date has been fixed for this mass action and we ask all Nigerians to join us in this struggle for the total emancipation of our dying economy.”