The Arewa Youth Integrity Forum has urged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele to disregard the noise being made in some certain quarters to indict him on the Arms fraud as the handiwork of disgruntled politicians who are desperate to have their cronies replace him. The Forum vowed to match any protest by pro-corruption groups, street for street and city for city. The National President of Arewa Youth Integrity Forum, Alhaji Audu Zakari told newsmen at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday that the demand for Emefiele’s sack or resignation by the certain individuals was calculated to spook the Nigerian economy for the benefit of currency speculators, who are waiting in the wings to benefit.
Zakari warned that “Should the markets be spooked on account of this kind of irresponsible behaviour, the economic fallouts will be felt by all of us. Jobs would be lost and those of us with jobs would be pushed into the unemployment market and would have thus fulfilled the wishes of these jobless youths who want the country to collapse.” The group expressed displeasure with those demanding Mr Emefiele’s sack and arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the explanation that such position can undermine the credibility of the anti-corruption agency with implications for its ability to discharge its responsibilities. “The faulty premise that Mr Emefiele was part of the Dasukigate arms scandal is laughable because the EFCC would have so indicted him if that were true. We therefore find the castigation of the EFCC for not arresting a man who has not been indicted ridiculous and something that can only come from people who are ignorant of how the system works.” Zakari declared. He said those behind the call are disrespecting the office of the President by suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is globally acclaimed to be committed to fighting corruption, is shielding a corrupt official. According to him, “This insinuation that the CBN Governor was complicit in the armsgate scandal is also an insult to the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an affront to the sincerity of its present occupant, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has consistently demonstrated commitment to stamping out the menace of corruption. “It is insulting to suggest that Mr President is looking the other way in Mr Emefiele’s case. It is even more sickening to be asking President Buhari to sack the CBN boss to satisfy the whims of people who cannot even get the their facts right.” He noted. Zakari further declared that “As for the management of the economy, while we admit that the economic environment is harsh, we also realise that Nigeria is not alone in experiencing the negative consequences of a threatened global economy. If things are exceptionally hard, it is because the previous government did not do enough to create an economic buffer but instead allowed a robbery bazar. “Mr Emefiele has been creative enough under the current circumstances to prevent our economy from taking a full hit from the fall in crude prices. He should rather be commended for this even though currency speculators would want us to believe otherwise since he has refused to dance to their tune to effect a devaluation of the Naira. “The Arewa Youth Integrity Forum therefore call on the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele to disregard the purported 72 hours ultimatum to resign, whether from ASJA or any other paid entity, as it does not reflect the wish of Nigerians. Even were the groups making such demands were credible, they do not have the mandate of Nigerians. “We urge Mr Emefiele to press on with his programme for protecting the naira and the economy from those that want to benefit from their collapse. We will rather endure a few months of discomfort than allow the country to suffer a total collapse. “We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to discountenance fraudulent calls from paid groups. The mandate of these groups also include finding a roundabout way of sabotaging Mr President’s government and part of the strategy is discrediting the leadership of strategic organisations in the country. “We call on the EFCC to begin tracking the finances of organisations that are being used to discredit its work. We are certain that such exercise will establish links between the paid groups and individuals currently under the commission’s scrutiny as sponsors. What they are doing is waging a psychological war to sustain corruption as an industry. “Because we know the implication of people organising a “mother of all occupy protest”, so we have also concluded plans to counter with the father of all occupy protest. We will match any protest by pro-corruption groups, street for street and city for city.” He asserted.