From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Alhaji Yerima Shettima led Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has clashed with a newly founded Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) over a call for the resignation of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele.
The newly founded AYA had on Monday allegedly asked the Governor of CBN to “resign his position over his alleged failure to manage the country’s economy sustainably”
Shettima, in a statement to reporters, noted that the Arewa Assembly leadership “is blind to the reality of not just the Nigerian economy but that of the entire world, ravaged by the COVID-19 epidemic, notably the United States, where millions lost their jobs and big investments are still folding up.”
It would be recalled that the Arewa Assembly, which spoke through its Leader, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, alleged that the apex bank boss’ presidential ambition was the reason behind Emefiele’s bid to “destroy the Nigerian economy”, a position the AYCF described as “meaningless and childish”.
Alhaji Yerima, in the AYCF’s swift response to what it described as the Arewa Assembly’s “misplaced attack, wrong transfer of aggression and desperation to attract public attention,” said the youth group “has got it all twisted” on Nigeria’s struggling economy under the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented banditry and kidnapping that have threatened trades and incomes.
“The Arewa Assembly obviously didn’t do their homework well, did no research of current facts and figures. COVID-19 led to a 60% decline in crude oil prices in the first half of 2020 led to a decline in revenue, foreign exchange earnings; the output of key sectors like manufacturing and service industries and the economy fell into recession in the 3rd quarter of 2020 after two consecutive quarters of negative growth of 5.1% in the second quarter of 2020 and 3.6% in the 3rd quarter of the same year,” AYCF recalled.
“The AYCF, therefore, takes exception to this unjustified attack on the CBN led by Emefiele, devoid of any sound economic arguments but built around mere lamentations.
“We also do not think it is fair to single out only one official of government for castigation in the media by self-styled youth groups such as the Arewa Assembly, without adequately persuasive or convincing reasons.
“Take it or leave it, Emefiele has done his best to help poor Northerners with start-up capital for small-scale agric businesses, introduced special grants to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on households income and pumped N23 billion providing isolation centres and some billions of naira more into efforts towards stabilising the national economy in more ways than one; including BDCs, to try to boost the exchange rate, and this is right now a work in progress.
“The CBN Governor is capable of defending the apex bank any day, but we would not like a group claiming to be speaking on behalf of the North to raise questions that would make Northerners look like learners of elementary economics.
“It is also not about regional sentiment because economic experts have taken time to explain some of the circumstances leading to the current challenges and we dare say we don’t care where the CBN Governor hails from when discussing current economic challenges affecting the whole world,” the AYCF emphasised.
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