Non-governmental groups and some prominent Nigerians have criticised the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi’s N100m donation to the victims of bomb blasts in Kano.
Some of the groups wondered why the CBN governor did not make a similar donation to bomb victims in Borno, Yobe, Plateau and Adawama states.
The Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, urged the National Assembly to invite Sanusi.
Okoh asked, “Is he giving the N100m on behalf of the President? Is he giving his personal money? There are so many questions that are not clear. Is the CBN governor qualified to make the donation on behalf of the country?
What is he donating it for and to whom? Is that not partisanship? Is it because he is from Kano state that he decided to give a whole N100m to them? Why didn’t he donate to other people?
Sanusi’s conduct is not acceptable behaviour; it boders on ethical misconduct. He should be invited to explain why he is so partisan about Kano. The money he is bringing out does not belong to Kano state.”
The clergyman also criticised Sanusi for blaming the rate of armed conflicts in the North on poverty.
An Islamic cleric and Chief Imam of the University of Abuja, Dr. Taofeeq Abdulazeez, also wondered why Sanusi single out Kano.
“Nobody really knows what the CBN governor was up to. It could apparently be a good gesture and charity. But this is not the first bomb blast. One wonders where the CBN governor was when other bomb blasts had occurred in some other places, especially Maiduguri, that has been very sequent,’ Abdulazzez said.
Also, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, in a statement in Lagos on Sunday, described Sanusi’s donation as illegal. He said the donation could not be justified as the apex bank had not extended a similar gesture to the dependants of those who died in similar attacks in other parts of the country.
Though Falana conceded that government had the legal duty to compensate the victims of such attacks and their dependants, he described the donation by the CBN governor as dubious, saying it was made for political objectives.
He added that it amounted to usurping the statutory functions of the National Emergency Management Agency.
“Since the Central Bank did not make any donation to the victims and the dependants of the hundreds of innocent people who had been murdered in cold blood in Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Niger, Kaduna and Adamawa states by the dreaded sect, Malam Sanusi should be sanctioned for the diversion of public funds through the illegal donation,” Falana said.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Society of Civil Liberties, , Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to suspend and investigate Sanusi.
Umeagbalasi, in an interview with our correspondent in Awka on Sunday, said Sanusi had no authority to make the donation on behalf of the CBN.
“The circumstance of that donation ought to be investigated. The CBN is the property of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and he has no right to dole out that kind of money without authorisation. Where did he get the money? Did he draw it from the federation account or is it from the consolidated account?” Umeagbalasi queried.
Also, the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Mabiye Kuromiema, said it was not believable that the CBN chief would dip his hand into the national treasury to make such a donation. He said that if the money donated to the victims of the Kano blast came from the Central Bank, it meant that the CBN governor was fast sliding into desperation in his bid to assist his people.
He said that such desperation, if true, on the part of the CBN governor was dangerous to national security and indeed a threat to the corporate existence of the country.
A former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said that if the donation was meant to alleviate the impact of the unfortunate explosions on victims, it should have had a national look.
Tsav noted that the CBN Governor had no powers to make such donations without authorisation from the appropriate quarters such as the President and the Executive Council of the Federation. He said that if such money was from the governor’s coffers, the choice of Kano where Sanusi came from made the donation to be sectional.
The Human Rights Writers Association also criticised the N100m donation made by Sanusi. The group said that Sanusi should be sanctioned accordingly since the apex bank is not a Father Christmas.”
HURIWA, in a statement issued on Sunday by its Director-General, Emmanuel Onwubiko and Director of Media Affairs, Zainab Yusuf, also criticised the apex bank boss for reportedly saying that the unprecedented rate of violence by religious insurgents in Northern Nigeria was caused by the pervasive poverty.