Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has chastised Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for the controversial naira swap policy that has plunged the country into crisis.
Remember that Emefiele issued redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes in October 2022, announcing that the old notes would be phased out by January 31, 2023, and later extending the deadline to February 10. The policy caused a nationwide shortage of banknotes.
The old currency was later declared legal tender by the Supreme Court until December 31, 2023.
The Nobel Laureate condemned the CBN governor on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2023, saying he committed crimes against humanity.
Emefiele has committed a crime against humanity, over and beyond even any electoral mago mago (foul play).
He struck at the heart of the subsisting survival principles, minimal needs and entitlements of the ordinary people in the street.
The literary icon knocked President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing Emefiele to let Nigerians suffer.
Don’t bully me. Don’t take my voice away. Don’t take my economic potential away, my economical entitlements. Don’t throw me on the mercy of sadists like Emefiele, he said.
He and his boss, Buhari, because ultimately responsibility rests with him [Buhari] to have allowed this to happen. But he [Emefiele] is the expert. He’s the one who gives the advice, he’s the one who executes the policies.
Soyinka accused the CBN governor of reducing the country to a state of despondency, adding that he is also finding it difficult to access cash.
The playwright said;
Even a few days ago, when I sent a text to the bank, and a cheque came back, they had no cash.
One of the bankers eventually brought me something from his own stash and explained to me what had been going on, how they would sit and wait for money to come.
You can’t buy a newspaper. You can’t buy guguru (popcorn) and epa (grounduts), which means that you cannot pay for the plantain; which means that the farmer cannot even pay for transportation of the goods from his farm to the [markets].