10 January 2014

Nigeria: Don't Suspend, Harass CBN Governor Sanusi, APC Tells Jonathan

The All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday advised President Goodluck Jonathan to tread carefully on his reported plan to force the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, to resign.

The APC, in a statement written by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said asking the CBN Governor to step down, on the basis of a mere allegation that he leaked the letter he wrote to the President, over the unremitted $49.8 billion oil revenue, will dwindle Nigeria's already weak economy and further impoverish the country.

The APC warned that any move to suspend Mr. Sanusi or use security forces to prevent him from entering his office, as reported by the media, will be terrible as it will mean the President is willing to circumvent the provision of the law which states that the Governor of the CBN can only be removed by two-thirds of the Senators.

The party said suspending the CBN Governor will be a replay of the damage that Mr. Jonathan did to the judiciary when he suspended former President of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, until his retirement, adding that the President could abuse his power and re-enact such scenario whenever he feels offended.

"Our worry here is that the President should not destroy our institutions before he leaves office," the party said.

The APC said its main reason for commenting on the planned removal of Mr. Lamido, either through forced retirement or via suspension, is the impact that a crisis of confidence between the President and the CBN Governor will have on the nation's economy.

"These include a loss of confidence in the economic management of the country, leading to uncertainty among domestic and foreign investors; as well as pressure on the exchange rate as foreign portfolio investors in government bonds and the stock market make their exit, and the corresponding fall in the value of share prices," it said.

The party said there was nothing wrong in a CBN Governor alerting the President to any discrepancy he may have noticed in the remittance of revenue from oil, which is the mainstay of the economy, adding that such action is expected from any CBN Governor who is worth his salt.

The APC also said there is no reason to believe that Mr. Lamido leaked the letter he wrote to the President, especially because the CBN Governor wrote the letter in September and the letter was not leaked until December.

"It stands to reason that if the CBN Governor had wanted to leak the letter, he had no reason waiting for four months to do so. Also, the moment the letter was sent to Mr. President, it has gone beyond the purview of the CBN Governor, and anyone with a reason to do so could as well have leaked the letter," it said.

The APC said President Jonathan's alleged move to sack the CBN governor few months before the end of his tenure smacks of vendetta. The party warned the president against the move.

"... we advise President Jonathan against precipitating a crisis in the economy, and we urge all Nigerians to advise him against such," the APC said.

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