The South and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has told the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), that it will not allow another scandalous removal of a senior public official in 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 co-signed by South-South/PANDEF leader Chief Edwin Clark; the leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo; the president of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus; and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Secretary General, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, titled ‘Emefiele Terrorist Sponsorship Allegation: Put Your House in Order and Stop Shaming Nigeria’.
It read in part: “The SMBLF calls for a thorough investigation of the incident to determine the officials and individuals behind the shameful and subversive plot, and appropriate sanctions should be imposed on anyone found guilty.
“The SMBLF, therefore, further urges the President to put his ‘house’ in order and save the nation from recurring national mortifications. We recall that former Nigerian Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen and several other high-ranking public officials from the country’s southern and mid-belt regions were scandalously removed from office in comparable circumstances.”
According to the pan-South and Middle Belt organization, the advice was made necessary following the DSS’s alleged attempt to obtain an ex parte order from a Federal High Court in Abuja to arrest and detain Emefiele on alleged terrorist financing.
“We advise that if anything adverse happens to Mr. Godwin Emefiele, there will be serious consequences. This country belongs to all of us.
“SMBLF advises politicians seeking elective office in the upcoming 2023 general election 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 achieve 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 made to apologize 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 terrorist financing?
“If the allegations against the CBN governor are genuine, why didn’t DSS present its findings to the president for his consideration and necessary action?”
Meanwhile, the groups praised the Abuja Federal High Court for dismissing a lawsuit secretly launched by the DSS last December in the Abuja Federal High Court to detain the CBN governor for sixty days.