Why I refused Jonathan’s order to resign – Sanusi

Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi

Embattled CBN chief says he is ready for any backlash

The suspended Central Bank of Nigeria, Governor, Sanusi Lamido, said he ignored President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive to him to resign because the president’s reason for the directive was baseless.

He said Mr. Jonathan asked him to quit for allegedly sending copies of the letter he wrote to the president to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.

He, however, said he was ready to take the backlash of any action the president was going to take against him.

Mr. Sanusi spoke to Metropole magazine, a Nigerian publication, few days before he was suspended from office. The interview would be published in the next edition of the magazine.

The CBN Governor was suspended from office on Thursday while on official assignment to Niamey, Niger Republic.

Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, who announced the suspension, said the tenure of the CBN chief had been characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline.

Mr. Abati also said the president had directed Mr. Sanusi to hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the bank, Sarah Alade, who would act as governor until the conclusion of the ongoing investigations into the alleged breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the bank.

It is, however, believed that Mr. Sanusi’s suspension was not unconnected with his recent revelation on the performance of the economy, notably the alleged failure of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to remit $20 billion to the Federation Account.

He had written the president accusing the NNPC of diverting more than 76 per cent of revenues, amounting to about $49.8 billion realized from crude oil sales between January 2012 and July 2103. He requested him to investigate the matter.

Mr. Sanusi, in the interview with Metropole Magazine, denied giving the letter to Messrs. Obasanjo and Amaechi, two known critics of the Jonathan administration.

“He asked me to resign and I did indicate that I did not see a basis for it because the allegation was that I had handed a letter that I wrote to him to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and I did not,” he said.

Stating that he did not know what the president would do following his refusal to quit the job, Mr. Sanusi said he was ready for the backlash of whatever action would take against him.

He said he suspected there would be newspapers articles on him and false allegations against him as well as attempt to hand him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for prosecution.

He said, “Now, would there be a backlash? The answer is yes. The backlash has started and it’s not even here yet. I will see the backlash when I leave office. So long as you are in office there is protection.

“You will see everything from newspaper articles to false allegations to attempts at having you in the hands of EFCC, more like ‘we must also do to him what he did to us. ’It is to be expected. But it is precisely the fear of political backlash that has stopped action in this country.

“It (backlash) will come and we will take life as it goes. For me, it’s never really a big deal. First of all, there is nothing in life that is very important to me. So I do not have any fear of loss. I have never lacked anything but that doesn’t mean I am obsessed with anything.

“If anybody wants to put me in prison I have always said just tell me what prison to go to and I would drive myself there, and pay my own transport fare there and I can maintain myself there in the period that you have set out for me. And I will come out. It’s just a location.”

Mr. Sanusi, however, explained he did not have any personal problem with Mr. Jonathan, but that there were people in the corridors of power who were causing difficulties.

He recounted that in his revelation of the non-remittance of funds to the Federation Account he had never mentioned the president’s name.

“This is not about the president because sometimes when I sit with the president I don’t think he really has a personal problem with me. But you know it is power we are talking about and there are people around power who continue to say things and continue to cause difficulties,” he said.

“In all of these things I have never mentioned the president even in the current controversy concerning the NNPC. I wrote him a letter asking him to investigate and in the letter I was very clear that I did not think he was aware of what was happening. So if anybody takes that as an attack on the president, that’s them and it’s not me.”

The embattled CBN chief debunked the claims that he was too visible, vocal and controversial unlike his predecessors and counterparts in other climes.

According to him, two of his predecessors, Chukwuma Soludo and Adamu Ciroma, were not quiet when they occupied the number one seat of the bank.

He also stated that Tito Mboweni, who was the governor of the South African Reserve Bank for many years, was not only an ANC activist and former labour minister, but was very colourful and vocal.

“He (Mboweni) had open disagreements with his Finance Minister Trevor Manuel over the management of the central bank. People are different and people need to accept that individuals have different traits,” he said.

“Some are quiet, some are introverts, some are extroverts, some like confrontation and some don’t like it, some are outspoken and others are not. What is important is: has the institution delivered on its mandate?”

Mr. Sanusi explained that there was an underlining philosophy to his approach to life, “which is that I believe we should speak truth to power. Power by its nature when offended can destroy an individual. For that reason, a few people speak. But no society changes until people are able to speak truth to power.”

He noted that before he was appointed CBN Governor, people were complaining about the Nigerian system, the way the nation spent money on recurrent expenditure, lack of adequate healthcare and how much it spent on fuel subsidy.

“The best way not to be controversial is to come and be part of that system and just be quiet, see and hear and say nothing and leave,” he added.

“I am not controversial. I am just, for me, being myself, expressing the same views about the system that I expressed outside it. Am I perfect? No. Do I have faults? Yes. But do I think that for every day I am in public office I have the responsibility to use my position as a platform to help and improve the system? Yes I do. In that process do I annoy some people? Yes.”

On his future, Mr. Sanusi, who denied going into politics or returning to his home state, Kano, said his immediate plan was to go to France to strengthen his French skills and subsequently go into farming so as to make money and create jobs for Nigerians.

He said, “I have a visiting professorship from the University of Bordeaux; I also have an offer to study Mandarin, which I will probably take. When I come back, I am thinking of either doing some farming which will help me make money while creating jobs for people. I will also like to have a think tank that deals with public policy in Africa.”


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  • sirjoka

    Well done Sir, I would gladly join your think thank. May Allah protect you and guide you on your journey

  • Mutum

    Love him or hate him, this Man is bold. Whenever the talk you see reason in what he is saying, just like our Minister of Agriculture.

    • really?

      pls do not compare him to Adesina
      sanusi is a vermin, while Adesina is a noble man

  • max

    Thief! There is no backlash for now but it will come when you least expected it.
    You know that you have been queried and there are allegations against you but you decided to key in and took undue advantage of gullible Nigerians and throw allegation on NNPC knowing fully well that you have been caught with sticky hands.
    There is allegation against you some of them Nigerians already know when you were throwing money around like sweet and chewing gum to your people.
    We are going to take you and the missing $20b together. Nobody will let you off the hook simply because you exposed the missing money. For now the money is missing may be after the probe going on in the senate we will either find it or have a clue where it is. You must continue to testify to help senate to recover the money we are not through with you yet. That a thief exposed another thief does not make him upright.
    Then after NNPC your co-thieves we will look into the allegations against you.
    You have EFCC to explain everything you know about the allegations against you and not to premium Times or one useless entertainment magazine.

    • Man Enough

      A foolish goat in the house. People beware of this WERAY!

  • Man Enough

    We already see the nobility in you Mallam. You’re different from the born dreg who had no shoes but now being carried away by Italian shoes. Your reward is surely in the hereafter. Well meaning nigerians are with you, and you can sure nothing would happen.

    • chuddy09

      Respect the people in authority! Acts of vendetta can never be noble.

    • Es3

      Which nobility???

      Or a gangster hiding under the facade of nobility!!!

    • emmanuel

      If Islam taught you to sleep with other people wives and steal monies, then that hereafter you talk about is not worth it.

  • solomon

    useless man always trying to be ahead of his case time will tell who is a fool.

  • abujakeneth

    He is a tribalist He gave a those billions mostly to Northern universities (80%).I too know person.

  • chuddy09

    One good thing about this mallam is that he was intelligent enough to throw sentiment aside and both made room and surrounded himself with intellectuals. The biggest war he ever fought was with chief executives, and same he will never win…reason being “Vested Interest” and Vendetta.

  • Mani_Kay

    Your BORN-TO-RULE mentality is the reason why you refused to resign.

    You thought that because you are a so called born-to-rule Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani …. you are not only an untouchable but also greater than the President whom you regard as a kafir and a second class citizen to your own detriment.

    According to your partner in Boko Haram, Mallam Shehu Sani …….. you have now been disgraced and booted out of office.

    Your next stop is prison …….. prepare to meet your fellow Boko Haram members there.

  • Gideon Orkar

    Sanusi over N1 billion spent on lunch for policemen!!!!

    Bet you never saw your suspension coming!

    Barawo banza!

    • Mani_Kay

      Sanusi is Nigeria’s biggest thief ………. when he saw that investigations were at advanced stages concerning his stealing and gross misconduct at CBN ….. he then quickly indicated that he would not seek a second term and went further to raise a false alarm against NNPC so that he would look like a saint in the eyes of Nigerians when his stealing is eventually exposed to them.

      Sanusi’s desperate attempts to hoodwink Nigerians failed woefully and will continue to fail despite the huge propaganda machine at his disposal.

      • Gideon Orkar

        Look at the timelines and you would find that he became an “activist” after the audited CBN accounts were sent to FRCN. Investing the country’s money in an Islamic bank in Malaysia without clearance. Did he think he was running a corner store in Kano?

      • really?

        10 gbozas for you
        but the gullible dim wits who appear to have brains but never use them
        they believe he is their hero
        their knight in a shining armour

      • ibrahim

        Do u have problem with the Northerners or the Sanusi as a person because i dnt knw what you are driving to

        • Cambota

          Good question my bros. he should attack d accused person, not his tribe. What shall we do?.

    • arewethishopeless

      EVIL is in our midst, ruling, killing and theiving. The DEVIL acts without conscience, thirsty for blood and for our souls. Is it not clearly obvious that GEJ is or is controlled by the DEVIL. They say the greatest trick the DEVIL ever played was making us believe he is not GEJ. IT has tricked us in believing GEJ is a poor humble soul with the interest of everyone at heart. Yet from the very first day he became president, this country has not known any peace. How much blood has been spilled in this country since he became president. War, rituals, plane crashes, senseless killings, divisions between tribes, religions and lootings all thrive now.

      Are we this blind? Has the DEVIL really succeeded in deceiving us?

      • Cambota

        Since u were born can you remind me (us) any naija govt we have not suffered all dis palaver u mentioned. What shall we do?.

  • Excisionist

    When his romance with Mrs. Yaro was revealed, he found himself in a
    tight corner where he could be tried by Sharia law or dismissed for
    conflict of interest. He was quiet for a while. Then BANG ! The
    government must be charged with something. Something needed to be
    invented in order to divert attention. Money is missing. GEJ has stollen
    it. Blah, blah, blah. But wait a minute; how much is missing Mallam
    Sanusi ? Well, he could not come up with one figure. Then meeting after
    meeting with the opposition. Sanusi’s ranting is one case of smoke
    without fire. Do not be deceived! It is not about fighting corruption.

    It’s all about Mrs Yaro. If Sharia is not just about oppressing the poor, let them take Sanusi and try him for adultery

    Sanusi has been a disappointment right from the begining. The only
    problem with GEJ is that he should have sacked Sanusi long time ago.
    Sanusi can become the CB governor of the Islamic Arewa Republic after
    the partition

  • emmanuel

    Sanusi is a guy that must go to jail, he is only making himself relevant with these comments.

    He was told to resign and he refused.

    NNPC is very corrupt and did not atart todah, this barawo should stop lTching on to NNPC corruption to cover his know plofligacy.

    The FG should investigate every kobo that came into Heritage Bank take off and they would find Sanusi’s finger there.

    Also, the sale of the three nationalised banks must be suspended, because he was fast-tracking one for himself to materialise before his exit date in June 2014

  • Truthnodeydie

    “When you try to fight corruption, corruption will fight you back” , That is naija for you. Why are we just been informed of the many sins of Sanusi? The reason is simple, in GEJ’s govt. eat but don’t talk.The one who does not give a damn will know no shame. The man who believes that corruption is not our major problem will perpetuate it. The man who on prime Tv said that Nigerians don’t know the meaning of corruption, that we call common stealing corruption is worse than ANENNI sorry ANINI. GEJ will sink Nigeria because he does not give a damn.

  • really?

    you refused to resign, why don’t you refuse to be suspended and show your pimp face at the CBN HQ. make those policemen you fed with one billion naira lash with koboko well well.

    • emmanuel

      You made me laff here.

      Make he go try im power for CBN true true, na koboko go tear im nyash yeye cattle rearer!

  • NaijaMindOfChange

    Fighting coreuption is a waste of time in Nigeria.

  • guest

    reasons u see not. most of the comments here are without substance base on sentiment. a clear manifestation of nigeria’s problem. may god save us

  • Tunde Olododo

    Tunde Tunji
    If you read most of the comments you will discover that Nigeria is in problem. Religious bigotry, tribal sentiment and political inclination. It shows to the world that it is difficult for an average Nigerian to think positively for the country without being biased. It is clear also that people are being paid to write comments here even against their conscience. I am surprised that GEJ who came from such a downtrodden background can ruin the nation and handed it over to the corrupted cabal that can steal anything. We should all pray that GOD should shower HIS wrath on whoever steal up-to two million naira from the public treasury. Also election for 2015 is coming, make a firm decision to vote for a right thinking person who will serve the nation not those that will loot our treasury.