The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has told the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), that it will not allow another scandalous removal of a top public office holder from the region.
This comes as the forum urged the President, in a statement on Monday, to end all forms of attempts by the Department of State Services to arrest and detain Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The SMBLF expressed these views in a statement jointly signed by the leader of South-South/PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark; leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo; President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus; and Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, titled, ‘Emefiele’s terrorism sponsorship allegation: Put your house in order, and stop embarrassing Nigeria.’
It read in part, “The SMBLF calls for a thorough investigation of the incident to determine the officials and individuals behind the disgraceful and subversive plot, and appropriate sanctions must be meted out to anyone found culpable.
“The SMBLF, therefore, further urges Mr President to put his ‘house’ in order and save the nation from recurring national mortifications. We recall that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, and several other top public office holders from the country’s Southern and Middle Belt Regions were scandalously removed from office in comparable circumstances.”
According to the pan-South and Middle Belt organisation, the advice became necessary following the reported attempt by the DSS to obtain an ex-parte order from a Federal High Court in Abuja to arrest and detain Emefiele over alleged terrorism financing.
“We warn that if anything untoward happens to Mr Godwin Emefiele, there shall be severe consequences. This country belongs to all of us.
“SMBLF hereby cautions politicians seeking elective offices in the forthcoming 2023 general elections and their supporters, at all levels, to exercise restraint in their quest for power. They do not have to destroy the country or any Nigerian, to attain their ambitions. Power comes from God, and he bestows it on whomever he pleases,” the SMBLF stated in part.
The forum also demanded that the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Mr Yusuf Bichi, be relieved of his duties and be made to apologise for his disloyalty to the President.
The statement continued, “What is the evidence that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is involved in terrorism financing?
“If the allegations against the CBN Governor are genuine, why didn’t the DSS present its findings to the President for consideration and necessary action?”
Meanwhile, the groups praised the Federal High Court, Abuja, for dismissing a secretly pursued suit by the DSS last December at the Federal High Court, Abuja, to detain the CBN governor for sixty days.