Saturday 24 June 2023

Tinubu Speaks on Firing Emefiele

Two weeks after the suspension and the arrest of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, President Bola Tinubu has finally spoken on the issue, describing the financial system under Emefiele as rotten.

Emefiele was picked up from his home in Lagos and flown to Abuja guarded by a detachment of security operatives. He was then driven to the headquarters of the State Security Service (SS), also known as the Department of State Service (DSS) in the Asokoro District of the nation’s capital. He has been in detention since, undergoing interrogation. 

Tinubu spoke during an interactive session with Nigerians in diaspora resident in France and neighbouring countries, on the side-lines of the two-day financing climate pact summit which ended in Paris on Friday.

He also noted that many of those resident abroad were unable to send money to their relatives because the multiple exchange rates, saying all that had become a thing of the past.

He said: “Then the financial system was rotten. Few people making bags of money and then you yourself, you stopped sending money home to our poor parents. Several windows. But that is gone now. It’s gone.

“The man is in the hands of the authorities. Something is being done about that. They will sort themselves out.”

The President, while describing fuel subsidy as a 40-year-old scam, disclosed that his aides – Dele Alake and Wale Edun left out subsidy removal from his inauguration speech, adding that he had to summon the courage to announce it when he mounted the podium to give his inaugural speech.  He said fuel subsidy was making just a few smugglers rich.

According to him, “Some countries were bleeding us. Courage was missing. Sometimes I became an advocate of it. But God gave me the opportunity when I danced around, strategized with my team. We won the presidency.  And the day I was declared winner, I fell almost sick with joy. 

“The few friends that visited me were rejoicing. So I asked the question, you asked me to bring this trophy, this victory. What do you do with it?

“I brought it. I won. We must achieve with it. We must change Nigeria with it. And then Wale Edun and co, we started debating, putting my speech together without the question on subsidy. I got to the podium, I was possessed with courage and I said ‘subsidy is gone.’

“They thought it was a joke of the century until I called NNPC. We are tired of feedings smugglers, making few people rich and subsidizing the next-door neighbour.

“I met with the President of Benin Republic today. Everybody is equal now. We are friends. We are conjoined twins joined by the hips. How we will separate each other is with this fuel subsidy. Let us see whether we will survive or not but we are going to survive.”

President Tinubu assured that palliatives to cushion the effect  of the removal on subsidy were being worked out.

Speaking on why he kicked against organised Labour embarking on protests, saying they cannot be asking for palliative, salary increase, transportation and still want the old order to remain.

“You want money increase in palliative, transportation what are you  protesting about? Are you sharing part of the subsidy?  if you protest I will join you and protest against. And they stopped. No protest

“Palliative we will get but we have to save the money in order to to embark on in palliative.”

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