Emefiele: The embarrassing end of ego-Bala Ibrahim
It was Sir Hubert Henderson, the British economist and Liberal Party politician that said, there is a merit in being unimportant, which he paraphrased in a book under the caption, “The Importance of Being Unimportant.” Sir Henderson expressed the idea that, under the right conditions, it is desirable to be a very small part of something big. One needs not be an expert in English language to understand that Sir Henderson was talking about the goodness or distinction of modesty, particularly with respect to the righteousness of rectitude and the enviable quality of being moderate in behaviour. And precisely that is the quality that I think is missing in the displayed attitude of the now suspended Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Chief, Godwin Emefiele.
Since yesterday Friday, the media has been agog with the story that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, from office immediately. The news was conveyed in a statement by Willie Bassey, Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The statement said Emefiele’s suspension is sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector.
Wow! No sooner than I read the breaking news, than my mind went to some video clips, which went viral on the social media, wherein the now deposed and detained Emefiele was basking and boasting, in a manner that depicted him as a man thinking that he is too important to even obey the law. Yes, just few days back, perhaps because of the deceitful potentiality of the paraphernalia of power, Emefiele refused to reckon with the meaning of vanity, by exuding excessive pride in the discharge of duty, and the way and manner he carried himself.
I am sure effective from last night, circumstances must have humbled him, and compulsorily compelled him to understand the meaning of the embarrassing end of ego.
Before he was reportedly seized (rightly or wrongly) by operatives of the Department of State Security, DSS, Mr. Emefiele was directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations), who will act as the Central Bank Governor, pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms. Although a friend and old classmate of mine, who happened to have worked with Emefiele, told me indeed Emefiele read Agric. Economics at the University, his actions seem at variance with the core principles of the mission of producing graduates of that discipline.
Emefiele was particularly forgetful of the temporariness of power, as he portrayed himself as an arrogantly bad student of history, by refusing to borrow a leaf from the situation of his predecessor, and the circumstances that brought him to power.
Godwin Emefiele assumed office in the year 2014, pursuant to the suspension and subsequent termination of the appointment of Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by the then President of Nigeria, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Although the social media is parading various allegations as the charges that are being put forward against him by the DSS, one can not come to any conclusion until he is formally charged to court. However, as a follower of events, I can attest to the torture visited on the people, through his economic cruelty, inhumanity and blatant brutality, in the brazen cash confiscation policy.
Under an economically senseless, and obviously wickedly intended plan, many Nigerians were pushed to depression, as they queued up in front of empty ATM machines for weeks, in the desperate move of scouring for their legitimately earned cash, which were seized by Emefiele and his cohorts.
The media was awash with saddening stories of the pain and anguish of people, who were forced to lose their loved relations and friends, or compelled to go through hell in the search for healthcare, as a result of the cash crunch.
Agonizing stories made the rounds, of how some medical facilities refused to offer emergency treatment to patients unless cash payment was made, even when they were aware of the dire circumstances of the patient and the cash crunch situation of the country. Indeed Emefiele forced a frightening fragility on the financial subconscious of many Nigerians, yours truly inclusive.
In the light of the submissions of Hon.Gudaji Kazaure, who alleged that, by virtue of his position as the Governor of the Central Bank, Emefiele was easily the most powerful person in the country, who could turn an indigent person into a billionaire in hours, and he had evidences to support the accusation that he had arbitrarily abused that privilege, I think, many Nigerians would rejoice with the embarrassing end to his revulsive ego.
Had Mr.Emefiele learnt a lesson from Sir Hubert Henderson, on the importance of being unimportant, perhaps, perhaps, he would have behaved with a better degree of humility. But now, the phrase on the lips of many is, good riddance to bad rubbish.
May God give President Bola Ahmed Tinubu more strength and spirit to succeed, ameen.