Coalition protests, passes vote of confidence on Buhari, Emefiele

A Coalition of Civil of Society Groups, on Thursday, passed vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari on his genuine desire to transform Nigeria, and build a solid foundation for the growth and development of the nation.

The group also expressed satisfaction with the efforts and initiatives so far evolved by the Central Bank Governor (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and other economic team of President Buhari to get the country out of the current recession.

President of the Coalition, comprising over 100 registered civil society organisations, Mr Bassey Etuk, led a protesters on the streets Abuja, in solidarity of President Buhari and his economic team.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions: “We are fully in support of President Buhari’s anti-corruption war,” “No country thrives on corruption;” “We support what DSS has done so far,” “We pass vote of confidence on President Buhari and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele,” “We stand with Buhari and Emefiele,” “Give Change a chance,” among others.

Etuk, while fielding questions from newsmen, said the CSOs had to mobilise on the streets to protest to the president the incessant falsehood sponsored by detractors against Mr Godwin Emefiele and other members of his economic team as the proximate and remote causes of the present state of the Nigerian economy.

He criticised those calling for the sack of Emefiele and Minister of Finance, saying the duo had been working selflessly to see that Nigeria got out of “mess” the current administration inherited.

Etuk, specifically, noted that the economic woes of the country should be blamed on previous governments because of what he described as recklessness and waste of national resources without saving for the rainy days.

He said President Buhari should be courgeous to probe some of the activities of past administrations of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan.

A protest letter written by the Coalition to President Buhari, dated October 13, 2016, which Etuk also read during the protest said: “The obvious truth is that the Nigerian economy had already been set on an auto-self-destruct before your emergence and not even the best of renowned economists from reputable ivory towers such as Harvard and Cambridge schools would have been able to halt the imminent recession or develop a quick fix solution when the economy eventually went into recession.

“We are however, saddened that at a time that Nigerians ought to have been celebrating the genuine efforts of your pragmatic leadership, many years of lack of proper planning by successive leaders eventually caught up with us.

“The current economic recession, which did not come as a surprise to many, has incidentally become the focal point of criticisms by mischief makers with clandestine motive of further pulling down an already fragile economy through unhealthy narrative to would-be investors, both locally and internatnally.

“Nigeria is not the only oil producing nation that has been affected by the sharp decline in the price of crude however, the difference between our country and others that have been able to withstand the economic shock caused by this decline is the simple fact that their leaders, through fiscal discipline, were able to save for the rainy days.

“It would be an insult on our collective intelligence if those responsible for the present state of our economy have suddenly turned advocates of rapid economic growth and development through the use of media propaganda and calumny against your government in a bid to discredit the good work of your economic team,” he said.

He commended various monetary policies such as the Bank Verification Number ( BVN), Regulated Forex Regime and the Treasury Single Account (TSA), being spearheaded by the CBN Governor, saying these had brought sanity and discipline to the country.

Etuk added that the current recession was a temporary setback that the nation would soon recover from based on the commitment of the president and his economic team.

On the recent arrest of some judges by the operatives of the Directorate of State Service (DSS), the CSOs said the action of DSS was within to purview of the law, as no one in Nigeria “is above the law.”

He urged the president to ensure that there were no sacred cows so as to put an end to impunity by those in public service in the country.

He said the group was fully in support of President Buhari’s war against corruption and the the civil society group would support the government in the best way they could towards ensuring success of the campaign.