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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Buhari/Emefiele and the albatross of too much trust

Buhari/Emefiele and the albatross of too much trust

If there is anything like wrongness in righteousness, then we can say the rectitude of former President Muhammadu Buhari is good to go as a candidate for that catch.

Yes, former president, former Head of State, former minister, former Governor, first and last chairman of PTF, Muhammadu Buhari, can be described as a man that seems to be working with the simplicity of naivety. Despite his pedigree of being everything in Nigeria, Buhari was placing too much trust on people, in a manner that is similar to that of a person with a naive mentality.

I would have loved to touch on one or two of how such naivety was demonstrated by Buhari, but space and the thorny nature of Emefiele’s issue, demands the attention of this article much more than any other matter. The article would therefore look on the issue of too much trust, and how such confidence is abused by the trusted, with special bias to the case of Chief Godwin Emefiele, the disgraced former Governor of Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Since Tuesday 13th February 2024, the media space in Nigeria was dominated by the embarrassing confession of the immediate-past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to the effect that, $6.2m was released from the CBN in February 2023 using a forged document. The money, he said, was released for foreign observers ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Boss Mustapha, who appeared in court as the fourth prosecution witness in the ongoing fraud trial of Emefiele, who is being charged on 20 counts bordering on forgery, criminal conspiracy, conferring undue advantage, and breach of trust, among others, was both stunned and astonished, because of such breach of trust. Some may say the trust of Nigerians generally, but methinks it’s more of the breach of the trust of Buhari, who had placed too much confidence in the hands of some mistrusts.

In law, and as provided by the constitution, when a matter is undergoing judicial trial, it is wrong to deliberate conclusively about it. And the accused is assumed innocent, until proved otherwise. Under the cover of those provisions, Emefiele and the rest can be assumed to be innocent, and this article would not conclusively discuss the merit or the demerit of their cases. However, I would touch on the naivety of Buhari, for placing too much trust on Emefiele in particular, in spite of the fact that his integrity was questioned by many, including yours truly.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari inherited Emefiele from former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was the first to nominate him as the CBN governor, following the suspension of the 14th Fulani Emir of Kano, Alh. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the same role, on the baseless allegations of financial recklessness. Amir Sanusi was callously removed from office under the pretext of injecting sanity in the country’s apex bank, only to be replaced by Mr. Emefiele, who came from Zenith bank with a baggage of mistrust, some of which have manifested in the 20 counts charges brought by the EFFC against him, almost all of them hammering on the lack of integrity. Despite the public outcry against Emefiele, Buhari went ahead to reappoint him.

I am a die-hard Buharist, because I believe in his unparalleled patriotism. I also believe in his honesty and high sense of responsibility. Buhari is reputed to be stainless when the issue at hand is corruption. However, Buhari has a known weakness. He trusts blindly. Those who know him would tell you that, if he trusts you, he doesn’t ask any question on what you do, regardless of what people say about you, or the magnitude of your mismanagement. But that is also an indictment on the actual intention of commitment to duty, or a show of the shallowness on the sincerity of purpose. If you give someone an assignment, you have the duty of oversight, by breathing over his neck regularly, in order to ensure compliance with the content and context of the contract.

In democracy, the elected has an unsigned contract with the electorate on the one hand, and a signed contract with his appointees on the other hand. In the event of any failure in performance, the first question to ask is, who is the one that appointed the appointee? A number of Buharis appointees have today come under the searchlight, with many on the verge of failing the aptitude test of trust. The last time I checked, at least eight ministers, who served under Buhari have been invited by the EFCC, over allegations bordering on the abuse of trust. The list becomes longer and tastefully un-Islamic, when Emefiele and some relations of Buhari are added.

Because of the abuse of trust, some people are now perusing the personality of Buhari, through the prism of the dirty linen of these mistrusted associates. I guess, because he was coming to duty with a clinically clean mind, his assumption was that everyone was coming to work with similar equity. And precisely that’s where Buhari got himself working at cross purpose with the meaning of the albatross of too much trust.


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