Udo Onyeka, Lagos:
Nominee for the post of Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN), Mrs Aisha Ahmad may have been promoted to the rank of Executive Director by her erstwhile employer, Diamond Bank Plc, only a few hours after her appointment was announced by the Federal Government, a group, “ Concerned Professionals Initiative For Good Governance(CPIGG) has alleged. In a petition to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki dated October 10, 2017 the group claimed that Mrs Ahmad who held the post of Deputy General Manager (DGM) in charge of Consumer and Privilege Banking Unit was “hastily” promoted over and above five other senior officials of the bank who are heads of units and departments to the rank of. ED to allegedly make her look right for the appointment.
It also emerged over the weekend that powerful King of a North African Country may have introduced and recommended Mrs Ahmad to the presidency, the contacts she exploited to get nominated for the job at the nation’s apex bank. An informed source said the banker was earlier introduced to the powerful North African King by a Senator from the North East geo- political zone who also has links with the presidency. The Senator it was learnt, was aware of the warm relationship between the North African King and Senior officials in the Presidency and accordingly solicited support to enable him secure the plum job for Mrs Ahmad who is said to be his friend of many years. A copy of CPIGG’s petition signed by three of its leaders Ebah Idikwu Esq, Ndian Blessing Esq and Comrade Matthew Mamwoo, obtained by DAILY ASSET alleged that the circular announcing Aisha Ahmad’s appointment was dated October 5, 2017 and released to the bank’s staff by 5.22 PM, the same day her appointment was announced, suggesting that the promotion was an afterthought.
“If the question must be asked, what special feat did she accomplish that merited her such an unusual promotion?” the petitioners queried. Besides, the petitioners claimed that Mrs Ahmad’s appointment constituted a gross violation of the Federal Character Principle since she hails from Niger State where Alhaji Ahmed S. Maiyaki once served as Deputy Governor of CBN for 10 years, while Kwara the home state of Mrs Ahmad’s Mother also produced Mrs Sarah Alade who recently retired as Deputy Governor after about 25 years of service in the Bank. “ Going by the Federal Character principle, therefore, the other North Central States of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and FCT should also have the opportunity to produce Deputy Governor of CBN” the petition stated. “From the foregoing, it is clear that Mrs Aisha Ahmad’s appointment as Deputy Governor of CBN was fraudulently conceived and made for purposes that are clearly far from the objective of ensuring the good management of the nation’s economy” the petition further alleged. Bureau for Equity and Transparency Joins Opposition to Appointment Meanwhile, the Bureau of Social Justice, Equity and Transparency has criticized Aisha Ahmad’s appointment saying she was not qualified to hold the post.
In a press conference on October 11, Executive Director, Mary Ogwiji Esq, who claimed the Bureau was representing 100 civil society organizations in Nigeria said it was opposed to “injustice about to be institutionalized in the country, in the appointment of an unqualified candidate as deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the midst of qualified and competent alternatives “ According to the group, this situation was worrisome when the country was in dire need of real technocrats in the CBN. “We view the appointment of Aisha Ahmad as a calculated attempt by a cabal to destroy the milestone achievement so far made by the president Buhari administration to reposition the country’s economy” adding that “ it will be counterproductive to allow the appointment of an inexperienced Aisha Ahmad to see the light of the day given the enormity and task and responsibility the office usually thrusts on its occupants and given the fact that ther are eminently qualified people within the CBN and outside to take up the place of the retiring Sarah Alade as a deputy governor.” According to the a Bureau, “Mr President was not properly briefed on the qualification or otherwise of Ms Aisha Ahmad” stressing he was misled into making the appointment by “saboteurs” inside the government. “We believe your Excellency was misled and acted in error which can be quickly corrected, We also call on the Senate to consider the concerns of Nigerians and take a passionate and critical look into the allegations surrounding the appointment of Ms Aisha Ahmad.” Series of controversies have greeted the choice of Aisha Ahmad as deputy Governor with many commentators challenging her qualification for the job. Amidst the controversies, the presidency last week urged the Senate to “expeditiously” screen and confirm the nominee to enable her assume office. CBN officials last week declined comments on the matter when approached by DAILY ASSET saying the director of communications, Isaac Okoroafor was available to respond to our enquiries. All calls made to Mr Omeife, Head of Corporate communications at Diamond in a bid to get his comments, were not answered.