Following the dismissal and alleged arrest of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Friday, a non-governmental organisation IPC Justice, has raised concerns over President Bola Tinubu’s recent actions, which it views as authoritarian.
It listed these actions to include signing a bill from the 9th Assembly without reintroducing it to the 10th Assembly, dismissing the Central Bank Governor, and utilizing the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest Emefiele.
These actions have sparked debate regarding their potential violation of the Constitution, the CBN Act, and the constitutional rights of the Central Bank Governor. Critics argue that these measures might be an attempt to stifle dissent and intimidate the public.
“If Tinubu continues to act in an authoritarian manner, it could have a negative impact on Nigeria. Authoritarianism can lead to human rights abuses, economic stagnation, and social and civil unrest,” IPC Justice said.
Furthermore, it stressed that the President does not have the authority to sign bills from a previous Assembly: “According to the Nigerian Constitution, the President can only sign bills that are passed by the current Assembly. The 2011 amendment to the Constitution, which extended the President’s signing window from 10 days to 30 days, solely applies to bills passed by the current Assembly, not those passed by a previous Assembly”.
Opinions on these developments vary among the public. While some individuals, like John Obafemi, express satisfaction with the dismissal and arrest of Godwin Emefiele, citing alleged mismanagement during his tenure, others, such as Michael Labinjo, argue for a leader who embodies both authoritarian and democratic qualities to drive progress in the country.
A prominent socio-political activist Deji Adeyanju, also voiced his criticism of President Tinubu over the appointment of Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as the acting Governor of the CBN.
“While I commend President Bola Tinubu for suspending Emefiele, I am highly disappointed that he has appointed Shonubi, a mechanical engineer as Acting Governor of the Apex bank.,” Adeyanju said.
He added: While we have been advocating for the Federal Government to stop appointing bankers as CBN Governors due to their lack of expertise in fiscal policies and managing an economy, the new president goes ahead and appoints a mechanical engineer as the Acting CBN Governor. This is a clear example of why nations fail.”
In light of these concerns, IPC Justice says it is crucial for Nigerians to hold President Tinubu accountable for his actions, and urged citizens to speak out against any signs of authoritarianism, demanding a commitment to uphold the rule of law.