Date Published: 08/31/09
SACKING OF THE FIVE BANKS MANAGING DIRECTORS: IS THE WHOLE THING DECEITFUL?
By Temple Chima Ubochi
Everybody has the ability to be manipulative, to be hateful and deceitful. (Neil LaBute)
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. (George Patton)
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
We pray that the deceitful race - such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ - be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony. (Peter Stuyvesant)
I hope my premonition misses otherwise Nigeria would be on the precipice of anarchy more than ever. The sacked five CEOs of some the banks might have erred and should not go unpunished, but, there might more to it than meet the eyes. Vanguard Newspapers of March 23, 2009 foretold of an agenda by a group to take over the top five banks even before the incumbent CBN Governor was appointed. The Paper wrote then that anti-consolidation forces have regrouped with the hope of dismantling the structures and forcing a takeover of the top five banks in the country, that the grand plan by the group is to cause panic and uncertainty in the industry and make the target banks look unsafe for depositors. That was exactly what happened on Friday, Aug 14, 2009 when CBN announced the sacking of five bank MDs for alleged misconduct and appointed new ones. Could it be that what the Paper wrote as far back as March 23, 2009 is true? It seems that the whole exercise is fraught with pitfalls. There are 24 banks in the country and the special audit was supposed to cover all. We cannot understand the haste to release the result of 10 banks while the exercise was still going on. And now Sanusi said that he would not sack any of the remaining MDs, even if a case is established against the person. What a double standard? On the other hand, even if cases of misconduct were established against the sacked CEOs, the best CBN should have done, was to invite the boards of directors of the affected banks, give them a time frame to remove those managers and replace them by themselves. To sum it up, I think the action was hasty and there are too many loose ends raising credibility and integrity questions, more especially, when on Thursday, August 20, 2009, theCBN admitted errors on debtors' list.
What Vanguard Newspapers wrote on March 23, 2009 was that the aim of the anti-consolidation forces is to cause loss of public confidence in the banking industry and compel the Federal Government to move in by injecting funds. Further, they ultimately plan to instigate government to take equity holdings in the targeted banks. And that was what happened on August 14, 2009.
The Paper then (March 23, 2009) wrote that the group at work is made up of former bank owners who lost out during the consolidation exercise, a powerful clique in the present government, and some aggrieved persons in three of the six geopolitical zones in the country who felt left out in the consolidation exercise. Also, that those who felt left out in the consolidation exercise are up in arms to recoup what they felt they lost during Obasanjo years. The Paper wrote then that the part of the plans hatched by the group is to ensure that the incumbent Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, does not get a second term. The plan is also to ensure that whatever gains consolidation recorded are discredited. Today Soludo is no more the CBN Governor, so the group has been achieving their motive. The Paper as of March 23, 2009 also wrote that the group’s second game plan is to make Nigerian banks look unsafe in the eye of the banking public. Part of the game is to spread rumours that some banks are unsound and are on the verge of collapse. According to the Paper then, the group planned to send out text messages to individuals and account holders passing wrong information on their target banks. Every thing the Paper wrote on March 23, 2009 has fallen into place. Nigeria is a mysterious place indeed!
Vanguard Newspapers of August 27, 2009 wrote that ‘CBN never conducted special exams on the banks’. The Paper had it that more insights into the motive for the removal of the Chief Executives of Union Bank, Intercontinental, Oceanic, Afribank and Finbank emerged, yesterday (August 26, 2009), as some top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, opposed to the sack, provided evidence which points to the fact that no special examination of the banks was conducted either by the CBN or NDIC. That with documentary evidence in Abuja, the CBN officials said that what was done in the banks between February and July 2009 was on AD-HOC assignment and that an ad-hoc assignment was different from a special examination. They disclosed that a special examination can only be conducted on a bank if there is a petition from within the bank to CBN, stating that there is a grave situation in the bank or that after CBN/NDIC examination, the report points to a deteriorating financial situation in the bank. The officials, according to the Paper, said that the (CBN) did not receive any petition and CBN did not conduct any examination! They also noticed that the figures and details of non-performing accounts provided, change with each different list given.
What am I reading? That CBN will sell the five bailed banks 100% to foreign investors? The Vanguard Newspapers (August 29, 2009) wrote that the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said in London yesterday (August 28, 2009) that the apex bank was ready to sell the five bailed banks 100 percent to foreign investors. The Paper quoting one of the foreign investors, wrote that a pre-selection of the foreign investors was done by the CBN in July even before the announcement of August 14, 2009. We learnt that those pre-selected foreign investors represent the interest of some powerful political power brokers in the country. In Sanusi´s own words “I would not stand in the way of any foreign banks taking a 100 percent stake in the five Nigerian institutions”.
I am worried about these developments, infact I feel morose. What is actually going on? Sanusi has no right to sell Nigerian banks 100% to foreigners. What are his plans for the shareholders of those banks?
Chief Olu Falae, the Presidential candidate of the All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999, (an experienced banker and former Managing Director of the Nigerian Merchant Bank), said Sanusi has an agenda and that his manners upset him. In his words “But the very combative way he carried out his first major assignment shocked me. He said he would take on some people in the banking sector. He is a public officer. He is not a politician. Therefore, in performing official duties in a very neutral way – he should be professional. There should be no emotion. He should not display either anger or joy about what he is doing. It is not a personal thing. You are doing your job like a public officer, which is what he is. But for him to permit himself to threaten some people is unfortunate. That is capable of prejudicing the quality of his decisions. People will wonder whether he is being professional or maybe in the course of his career, he might have come across some of these executives. Maybe they have had a clash before and now he is in position of a public office he wants to get back at them. It is unfortunate. His action may be absolutely right. But the way he has carried it out in my view has prejudiced that action. It has made people question the sincerity and the legitimacy of his decision.
Secondly, he said he preferred to sell institutions. Again, he is not the one to decide what happens to those banks. It is a collective responsibility. The shareholders have a stake in this matter. The NDIC that insures deposits has a stake and then the Board of the CBN. He is not the board of the CBN. He is the governor. It is the board, in consultation with these people who will decide what happens to the banks. He said it as if he owns the CBN. He has all the powers that the banking Act conferred on the CBN. He is not the CBN. He is the governor. He is very important in CBN, but he is not the whole of the CBN. His language makes me very convinced about his perception. This is my view about his style, language and approach”. (Sun August 29, 2009)
Why should Sanusi call a conference to reassure counter-party banks and foreign investors about the bailout in far away London and not in Nigeria? Is Nigeria still a British’s appendage (colony) or a supposedly independent country? Sanusi should have known that selling Nigerian banks 100% to foreigners would be tantamount to the start of an overt economic colonisation and subjugation of Nigeria by foreigners, he cannot sell Nigerian banks outright, the owners of those banks should be the ones to decide their (banks) fate. When things continue like this, we might not know when they would sell Nigeria at our back.
Should we trust Sanusi on this? Sanusi might be right and I hope he is, because, if there is a hidden agenda here, it will surely precipitate a crisis, the outcome nobody can predict in the long run.
On a different, but, laughable note: The Daily Trust Newspapers (August 28, 2009) wrote that the federal government would start social security next year . The Paper wrote that after 49 years of independence, the Federal Government said it would begin the implementation of national social security policy that would ensure a workable and holistic social security system for Nigerians in January, next year (2010). And that General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), a former Head of State, is the Chairman of the National Working Committee on Social Security Policy for Nigeria.
Gowon, while submitting the draft policy to the government, commended the government for considering it imperative that Nigeria needed a holistic social security policy. Gowon said that a nation that placed great premium on the welfare and well-being of its citizens above all else was a nation that eyed greatness. He expressed hope that the policy and the recommendations would meet the national aspirations through substantial reduction in crimes and corrupt practices; increased productivity through inclusion; reduction of poverty by reducing income vulnerability and promotion of solidarity, patriotism and nationalism. He also expressed concern over the present state of the nation, adding that collapse and non-existence of basic infrastructure had created a disincentive for millions of Nigerians who flooded the cities, constituting serious danger to individuals and the public. He further added that it was indeed paradoxical that as rich as Nigeria is, the vast majority of the populace was unable to afford even the basic necessities of life, which are food, water and shelter. According to him, “The steady decline in the standard of living and ethical values of our countrymen and women over the years are attributable to ever widening income inequality, mass unemployment, mass poverty and social exclusion. These socio-economic maladies are due to external macro-economic dislocations and largely to internal mis-governance and malfeasance across the board”. For him, it was exciting that the present administration had taken seriously the issue of addressing the welfare and security of the citizenry as a first principle.
Sorry Nigeria! The whole thing is hypocritical. This government is not serious. How can it offer social security without social security numbers, without a national database (databank), without a nationwide birth and death registrations, without a national identity (ID) card scheme, without knowing how many Nigerians are, because, the last census figures were cooked up? For some states, the figure was inflated while for some, it was deflated. Many states disputed the figure “assigned” to them and some took the National Population Commission (NPC) to court for short-counting them.
There is a need for a national register before the idea of social security should be conceived, otherwise, it would be an avenue for some people to make quick money illegally as one person can forge documents so as to be able to register and collect the social security hundred times. Nigerians love to cheat themselves.
My disappointment in Gowon right from the time he was the head of state is reinforced. Despite the blunders he committed as a mediocre head of state, he never learnt his lesson well. His government was one of the worst in Nigeria’s history. Maybe, Gowon forgot that he laid the foundation of everything that is wrong with Nigeria today, during his reign; that Nigeria is a failed state today can be traced to him. Was he a good leader then, Nigerians shouldn’t have been talking about poverty, unemployment, obsolete infrastructure etc today; he wasted our oil wealth when Naira was “Almighty” and one of the most valued currencies in the world. Secondly, when he was overthrown, he ran to United Kingdom. Did he not see how social security system there was organised? Most of all, while in exile, he acquired a PhD in Political Science from a UK University. Being a social scientist with a terminal degree in Political Science, he must have studied something about social security policy, population and social planning amongst others. What was the basis for (his) accepting the appointment, did he offer his advice to his “comrade-in-mediocre” (Yar’Adua) on what to do before initiating the policy and before accepting the appointment? Gowon case might be that of “once incompetent, always incompetent”.
If the social security policy takes off without the basic data, then in the north, cow, sheep, goats, donkeys, fowls would all be entitled to social security, just for the north to cheat the south. It was the same gimmick they used during the census exercise, when animals were all counted as human beings, just to inflate the northern states figures, because, national wealth is shared based on numbers.
There is a quiet storm going on in Europe, but, it will soon be blown wide open. Some Nigerians abroad want to really work for CHANGE in Nigeria. Although I am still at the periphery of the movement for now, but, I would be keeping you abreast with developments as they occur! The group wants to use the words of the mouth among Nigerians in every part of the world to popularize the ideas for a CHANGE. There are people (who are part of the group) working on this in Texas, USA also. I received a message from one of the arrowheads of the group and we‘ve communicated back and forth for a while. I asked few question and received some answers. I would not divulge into every detail of our discussions here, but, I have the permission to share these with you. Stay tuned for more information as the days go by. Likely minds would be requested to join the movement. The name is NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE AND PROGRESS.
WILLIAM ADELEKE is the point man here. These are some of the mails he sent to me:
Thanks for giving your support. Now please read further.
How to go about it you asked, of course I have been giving this a great deal of thought. Remember everything has to go the constitutional way, no violence no pogroms. We will not subject our loyal followers to violence; we will truly be intelligent.
So there are two programs: The minimum and the maximum.
Under the Program Minimum, our propaganda machine will remain, to a large extent, the Internet and words of mouth in order to win converts. Thanks Goodness there’s no censorship in the country yet; so everything will run just as others have been doing via the Internet, and we hope the System will continue to dismiss us with the waves of hands as mere agitators and insignificant.
But we will carry on making progress and win more converts; until when the time has come for us to go to Nigeria, register the Movement as a Political Party with the INEC. Then we will need to rent offices, get staffs and function as a fulltime Political party.
Meanwhile, everything will flow through the Internet; we must have chapters throughout the world!
The Second Phase is the Program Maximum. This essentially is what we are going to do when we get the power, in other words, a list of step-by- step activities. I have compiled some 105 laws to be promulgated (that is from this stand point and corrections, additions will be made to these as the visions mellow with time). I won't bother you with them for the time being and for the sake of security reasons! No offence meant.
But this is a very serious engagement.
Now, allow me to let out to you the underlying issue behind our fight, so that you have a vivid image; what the objectives are and what it all involves:
Whatever we do and in whatever position of comfort or otherwise we may find ourselves today, we must not forget that we have a mission to build a new country for our children tomorrow, a place they can refer to proudly as their root. We must not be disillusioned that our children will not want to associate themselves with their African root.
One day, they will want to go and see what the place is like, and if WE could start a great work of nation-rebuilding, these kids will be glad to make significant inputs, and be proud of themselves.
We have to fight for our land, otherwise we will soon be deprived of it all, then if we should raise a voice, it will be too late. And believe it or not, the process is underway, just take a look at the new Political map of Nigeria, the Fulanis have got it all! Then I ask, where will you be in 30-50 or 100 years?
We have to make ourselves and our children proud to be Africans even when they become great men in life. Like the great Confucian said, the journey of 1000 years begins with one step.
Give my regards to everyone.
WILLIAM WROTE THIS (FULANIS IN NIGERIA):
Sorry to be very personal, and more particularly, if you're a Fulani man, like Abubakar Sola Saraki or late Babatunde Idiagbon.
Personally, I should have nothing against the Fulanis, safe only for the fact that they have perpetuated themselves into a system that is leading us into untold ruin and destitute. Nobody would have cared if they were to be building a civic and egalitarian society along with other Nigerians.
On the contrary, they are not proud to be Nigerians. All they need is Land, a territory, a permanent home which they never have. Nigeria is their dream promised land, to be later named 'THE UNITED FULANI EMIRATES', 'THE FULANI KINGDOM', or 'THE FULANI REPUBLIC', if you want.
It’s already a big territory if you look at the new political map of Nigeria. Those thinking of breaking up Nigeria would do a good service to the Fulanis in future.
This isn't a case to be misconstrued for discrimination. Our case is similar to that of the Jews and Arabs in Europe, they had come in search of green pasture supposedly, and as time passed, had taken control of the power and the land from the natives. Not because the natives were weaker, or that the immigrants were stronger, it was because they, the immigrants, were a bunch of impudent, opportunists, who had grossly abused the good disposition of the natives to them. Yes, we are all strangers in this world, but live and let's live, goes the saying. Why were the Europeans forced to rid their societies of the Jews or at least assimilate them?
Remember how the whites dealt with Natives in Australia, USA and South Africa.
Thanks Goodness! Imagine the Fulanis constituted a majority ethnic group in Nigeria; you and I would not be today, as they would have long ago annihilated our fore-fathers for the sake of LAND GRAB.
But don't relax yet, because that will come one day if we will only stand beside and grumble; at least all indications point to this and some intelligent studies have simulated this; the reality is all too soon, trust me; and don't drop off your chair if you learn that some super powers (say the USA or France could give the support) it has happened before.
So, must we wait for the worse to befall us before we fight? Intelligent people don't do that, they know what to do, and they do it. That's why they are called 'The Intelligentsia' They are more enlightened; able to see through and analyze what the future should look like, based on the present circumstances.
Didn't the Arabs and their Fulani brothers invade and take most of the African land in the 7-8 centuries? They marched over our land from Morocco across to Somaliland. And the fight continues down south till today! But are the Africans better off today afterwards?
This is the question an intelligent person ought to ask before he decides whether or not it is worth it for him it to take any actions. I’ve made my own choice, now it’s up to each and every one of you out there.
The Fulanis made their ways to Nigeria; they make a home here and prosper more than any other ethnic group in Nigeria by all standards, yet they can't get enough. Who says we will be better off if we all convert to Muslims under Fulanis? Tell me; Are the Hausas better off today after about 200 years under the Fulani serfdom?
Did you know for instance that as at 1933, most part of the far North (the Hausas) were still held as slaves, while the British were already using the Fulanis as police and low administrative clerks?
Today, the Fulani tribe get the bulk of Northern scholarships to study abroad. Now tell me who is being marginalized eh? When we refer to 'the North', we should always specify.
THE FULANIS ARE THE SYSTEM WE MUST RESIST, NOW!
VOTE FOR CHANGE, IF YOU WANT CHANGE!
WILLIAM ADELEKE WROTE FURTHER (MY CASE AGAINST THEM)
The chaos in our land since Olusegun Obasanjo assumed office is said to be a result of Fulani dissatisfaction with him. Fulanis accuse the president of marginalizing them.
On March 31, 1953 when Chief Anthony Enahoro moved a motion, urging the British Government to grant self-rule to Nigeria by 1956 in the Federal House in Lagos, the Northern representatives left the hall in protest. The Fulani elite, who were behind the decision, were afraid that, if that motion were granted then, they would be marginalized in an independent Nigeria.
Fulanis made this clearly known in writing to the British colonisers. And to ensure that everybody knew that they meant business, they organised a violent unrest in May of the same year, generally known as the Kano riots in history books. During the riots, hundreds of Southern Nigerians were killed and their properties destroyed by murderous rampaging mobs. This incident marked the beginning of the now well-known Fulani habit of instigating violence for political ends in modern Nigeria.
A similar accusation of marginalization was made against General Aguiyi Ironsi in 1966, and the Igbo man didn’t take them seriously, a mistake he paid for with his life. A million other lives were to be wasted through pogroms and the genocidal war that ensued after the death of the general.
Fulanis would allege marginalization again in September 1985, a month after Ibrahim Babangida overthrew the Muhammadu Buhari regime. It was Dr. Junaid Mohammed, a Fulani man, who shouted that it was unfair not to include "a single Hausa/Fulani" in the then newly-constituted Armed Forces Ruling Council. (Of course, the rabble-rouser from Kano meant Fulani. If the Hausa man were to complain of marginalization, the first address of his grievance would be his Fulani lord.) This was, however, a regime in which a fellow Kano indigene, Sani Abacha, but a Kanuri man, was highly influential. Mohammed was briefly detained, and Maradona made some changes here and there, thereby successfully assuaging Fulani feeling.
How marginalized could Fulanis be in Nigeria?
Fulanis consider themselves to be entitled to more power than their compatriots in Nigeria. And this has to do with history: the conquest of Hausa country and culture. A rare feat which even today still inspires awe in Western scholars. A German sociologist once described the Fulani subjugation of Hausas as one of the rare cases in human history of "sustained, uncontested overforeignization" of a nation. It is indeed rare! And it has served to imbue Fulanis with a sense of privileged entitlement.
Leaving aside the institution of Fulani traditional power in the North, which is a classic example of inequity, Fulanis have played a much more important role than their demographic strength would deem equitable in our politics.
In our forty years of independence, out of the eleven men that have ruled us, four of them are Fulanis: Ahmadu Bello (de facto), Murtala Mohammed, Shehu Shagari and Muhammadu Buhari.
Four from a single ethno-racial group, a minority one at that, in a country with more than 250 different ethno-national groups! Yet they are said to feel marginalized.
Of the 8 inspectors-general of the Nigerian police since independence, three, Mohammed Dikko Yussuf, Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta and Ibrahim Commassie, are Fulanis.
During the Second Republic, out of the 8 Northern states in which Fulanis are recognised as a minority group (Bauchi, Borno, Gongola, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Niger and Sokoto), Fulanis were governors of five of them: Abubakar Barde, Gongola; Abdulkadir B. Musa, Kaduna; Abubakar Rimi, Kano; Ibrahim Awwal, Niger and Shehu Kangiwa of Kano. Kwara had an Igbira governor but a Fulani, Abubakar Saraki, as king-maker.
In Shagari’s presidency, Fulanis occupied the key positions: Yahaya Dikko, Energy Adviser (de facto petroleum minister), Umaru Dikko, nominally Transport (de facto Super Minister), Shehu Musa, Secretary to the Government, Maitama Yussuf, Internal Affairs, to name a few examples.
In the Senate of the Second Republic, Abubakar Dan Musa was Deputy President and Abubakar Saraki was its Majority Leader, both men are Fulanis.
Please note that there is no SINGLE local government in Nigeria in which Fulanis are a majority.
Yet nobody accused Fulanis of having a disproportionate share of national offices, nobody even bothered to identify them by their race.
Let us imagine that Yorubas or Igbos were so preponderant in national offices! The whole country would have risen up against them.
And it should not be forgotten that the highest Yorubas had during the same era were ministerial posts.
When the corrupt and inept Shagari government was overthrown, the new one that came in again had a Fulani head, Buhari. Is anybody aware that Tunde Idiagbon was a Fulani? He was! He was an Ilorin Fulani like Abubakar Saraki and Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
Two Fulanis (head of state and his deputy) once ruled Nigeria! Yes!
As recently as ten years ago, all the principal positions in the federal judiciary were headed by Fulanis: Mohammed Bello, Chief Justice, Mamman Nasir, President of the Federal Court of Appeal, and Alfa B. Belgore, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
While no Edo man or woman, no Ijaw man or woman, no Isoko man or woman, no Itsekiri man or woman, no Uhrobo man or woman has ever been made Minister of Petroleum since independence, four Fulanis have occupied the post, the highest number/ethnic group in Nigeria: Buhari, Yahaya Dikko, Jubril Aminu and Rilwanu Lukman. The latter is in a second tenure. Yet Uhroboland, Ijawland, Isokoland and Edoland are the major hydrocarbon-producing areas of Nigeria.
And Fulani emirs get regular allocations of crude oil while the hapless Igwes, Obongs, Ovwies, Olus, Omo’nobas, etc. who ‘sit’ directly on the precious resource are not powerful enough to be considered for the same royal perk!
Fulanis enjoy a privilege in Nigeria that other migrant peoples in the world would envy.
Descendants of people from the territory now known as Germany who migrated to Tsarist Russia between 300 – 400 years ago have been returning to their ancestral home in Germany since the 1970s, tired of living as perpetual guests in a foreign land.
Yet these ethnic-German Russians, as they are known, have intermarried with other Russians and look no different from them, but they were never assimilated to the extent that they would consider themselves indigenous enough to be eligible to be president of Russia, not even under the Communists, for whom egalitarianism was the state ideology.
In Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, where there have been Chinese minority populations for more than 1,000 years, the Chinese are still considered as non-natives in the popular mind. And this opinion still prevails, despite the fact that, through their resourcefulness, Chinese account for between 60 - 70 percent of the GDP of these countries. It was only two years ago that an ethnic Chinese became the prime minister of Thailand for the first time. The other three countries are yet to have Chinese heads of government or presidents.
No ethnic Somali would aspire in his wildest dreams to rule Ethiopia.
Yet the Fulanis, whose roots in Nigeria go back only 400 years, have not only established themselves as equal participants in our political community, they go beyond that. They would like to be accepted without dissent as master and lord with a privileged entitlement to power.
The Fulani man in Nigeria is really an Übermensch (over-man), a term coined by the 19th century eccentric German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, to describe the exquisite sort of human beings who should rule other men. That concept was later to be adopted by the German National Socialists (Nazis) under Adolf Hitler and extended to a race he termed Aryan. Fulanis are our Aryan, the aristocratic folk, a master race, ordained to rule us. Otherwise we would have challenged their supremacist claims more assertively.
Do you need more persuasions to join NATIONAL ALLIANCE for A CHANGE?
THE THANXS IS ALL YOURS!!!