By Ogochukwu Isioma
Ideas Nigeria Movement (INM), a leadership-focus group has lambasted Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara for asking President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel the study leave purportedly granted to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
Matawalle had in a statement on Monday, said that Emefiele does not deserve to go on such leave because of his his monetary policy which he called “a disastrous naira swap policy” that brought untold suffering to Nigerians.
The Zamfara Governor’s statement was based on a rumour reported in an online medium which alleged that President Buhari had granted Emefiele study leave after May 29.
The Presidency had denied any knowledge and existence of such study leave.
But in a press statement by Nadodo Abubakar, its Executive Secretary on Wednesday, Ideas Nigeria Movement, a body of Nigerians driven by the tripodal values of Nationalism, Innovation and Capacity, censured Matawalle for making “reckless and irresponsible statement based on nothing but rumour and utter falsehood.”
The group urged President Buhari to ignore Matawalle’s “red herring and wild goose chase in pursuit of a pre-meditated scheme to embarrass and harass the CBN Governor after May 29 inauguration.”
“Rather than Matawalle to admit and apologise to the people of Zamfara for failing abysmally to protect their lives and property against pervasive terror attacks in the state, he is romancing baseless and unintelligent rumour which appeals to his sinister motive and those of his co-travellers to embarrass and harass the CBN governor.
“We are disappointed that a state governor in the 21st century would justify a weird monetary situation whereby as of September 2022, N2. 73 trillion out of the N3. 23 trillion currency in circulation, was outside the vaults of commercial banks across the country,” the statement said.
The group said such flawed currency retention and circulation can only happen in Nigeria where “the likes of Matawalle have turned their offices and homes into bank vaults to warehouse naira notes against the grain of logic and law.”
“On the issue of the naira swap policy, Emefiele did what a responsible Central Bank Governor should do. The scarcity experienced in the early days of the policy was as a result of sabotage from some fraudulent commercial bank staff who hoarded and diverted the new notes to politicians and others with a penchant for running alternate banks in their homes and offices.
“Matawalle should stop chasing shadow and concentrate on the job of securing his state and lifting it out of poverty, a duty he has woefully failed to perform,” the group said.