Emefiele & Osinbajo’s Responsibility In Buhari’s Economic Policies

By; Georges Macnobleson-Idowu

In the discussion surrounding the mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, there seems to be a notable absence of criticism directed at former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. As the former Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), Osinbajo played a significant role in advising President Buhari on economic matters.

According to the law, the NEC consists of the President, Vice President, 36 State Governors, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and other government officials. During Buhari’s presidency, Osinbajo was appointed as the Chairman of the NEC and held this position throughout the eight years of that administration.

It is perplexing that the current government, led by President Bola Tinubu, is solely focusing on holding former Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele accountable for the mismanagement of the Nigerian economy, particularly the Naira Redesign Policy implemented during Buhari’s presidency.

During Buhari’s tenure, the NEC, headed by Osinbajo, convened monthly to advise the President on economic affairs and coordinate the economic planning efforts of the Federation’s various governments. This indicates that every decision and economic policy implemented by the Buhari-led government was thoroughly discussed and decided upon with Osinbajo’s knowledge.

Unless Osinbajo wishes to assert that he consistently advised against the anti-people policies, including the Naira Redesign Policy, it is reasonable to assume that he was aware of and involved in all the economic decisions made during Buhari’s presidency.

Some argue that Osinbajo protested against the implementation of many economic policies but was overruled by the government’s powerful individuals. However, it is puzzling why someone as learned as Osinbajo would choose to remain in a directionless and seemingly hijacked government.

Osinbajo’s decision to stay in a government where he appeared to be a figurehead contradicts his acclaimed integrity and pastoral role. It is evident that he chose personal gain over the welfare of over 200million Nigerians. After all, remaining silent can be seen as consenting to the government’s actions. Imagine the respect he would have garnered if he had boldly opposed the government’s policies and subsequently resigned as Vice President. Perhaps, he would have become the symbol of hope that the Nigerian youth are currently seeking, as seen in the “Obidient movement.”

It is essential that we hold every individual accountable for their role in the mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy, including President Buhari. While one person is being criticized and labeled as a criminal, other key managers of economy are being celebrated by their communities. If we truly desire justice for Nigeria and its people, everyone, regardless of their position, must be held responsible.

Georges is the Managing Editor of Nigeria Check Newspaper. He writes in from the UK.

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