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‘He must give full account to Tinubu’, Matawalle rejects Emefiele’s ‘study leave’

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel the study leave purportedly granted to the Governor of the Central Bank…

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel the study leave purportedly granted to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

In a statement, the governor said Emefiele does not deserve to go on such leave due to his monetary policy which he called “a disastrous naira swap policy” that subjected Nigerians to untold hardship.

Reports emerged last week that Buhari granted a study leave to the CBN governor which will see him travel out of the country.

But in reaction to the news, Matawalle said Buhari should forfeit the leave to necessitate peaceful transition of power.

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He, however, lavished praises on the President describing him as a patriot, democrat and a man of impeccable integrity and character.

Matawalle said Buhari has also demonstrated good faith by showing his readiness for a seamless transfer of power to the incoming administration.

“President Buhari and his wife Aisha Buhari have shown good faith and shown they want a seamless orderly and peaceful transfer of power to the incoming administration,” Matawalle said.

“They are eager to ensure that the new regime takes off smoothly and speedily and in a manner devoid of any encumbrance in the interest of our country.

“This is the right thing to do and I commend President Buhari and his wife for their statesmanly conduct.

“However, other officers in the government have acted in a different manner. They are behaving as if they want to put spanners in the work for the incoming regime.

“President Buhari should not allow this. He should frown at any attempt by any person seeking to damage the good job he has done.

“I want, here and now, to urge President Buhari to not approve any study leave or whatever kind of leave for any officer critical to the take-off of the incoming administration of Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“One of such persons that has been speculated in the media to have sought a study leave is Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele.

“If the leave has been approved, as reported in the media, the President should cancel it in the interest of peaceful transfer of power, accountability and good governance.”

Matawalle said Emefiele must be made to account for all that transpired under his watch to the incoming administration.

“CBN Governor Emefiele superintended over the management of the country’s financial and monetary systems. He is the one who initiated and implemented the recent disastrous naira swap policy, the naira confiscation program, which put Nigerians through untold woes and trauma and set our economy backwards,” he said.

“Two of my brother-governors and I took the federal government to court over this ill-advised policy and fought resolutely until we got a respite for our people from Emefiele and company.

“This same Emefiele now wants to proceed on study leave when he has some 10 months left of his tenure apparently in a bid to evade rendering accounts. This is unacceptable.

“President Buhari should not countenance this. Emefiele must stay at his job to give full accounts of all that transpired under his watch to the incoming administration.

“He must answer all the questions the new regime may have for him particularly when he still has some months left of his tenure.”

Matawalle also asked Buhari not to approve foreign postings or grant any foreign trips for any officer at any level in the outgoing government.

“I’m aware that some officers in the outgoing government are moving to surreptitiously leave the country at this critical time they are needed to answer to specific questions, though I would not want mention their names here,” he added.

“President Buhari should not heed their inordinate and unpatriotic plan. These plans are dangerous and devilish. They show clearly that these officers have something to hide.

“This must be halted immediately. Any plan to evade rendering accounts is neither in the interest of accountability, transparency and anti-corruption.”

The Presidency had said it was unaware of the purported decision of Buhari granting study leave to Emefiele.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said this while reacting to inquiries from Daily Trust.

The presidential spokesman had said: “If the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been granted study leave supposedly by President Muhammadu Buhari, this is unknown to us. It is also unknown to the President’s secretariat headed by the Chief of Staff.”

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