A member of the British House of Lords in the United Kingdom Parliament, Lord Daniel Hannan, has advised democrats and the political elites to join the Federal Government of Nigeria in supporting the independence of its institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the country prepares for the 2023 general election.
Lord Hannan, a member of the Board of Trade and Conservative Peer and Baron of Kingsclere, issued the advice on Wednesday while answering questions in the UK Parliament.
He spoke against the background of reported plots to arrest and prosecute the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, by the Department of State Services over alleged money laundering.
Hannan in an interview, said the rule of law, due process and the independence of public officials must be protected by all because they formed part of the democratic values that bind together the nations of the Commonwealth.
He faulted the alleged moves by the political class in Nigeria to witch-hunt Emefiele over the redesigning of naira and the accompanying policy of cash withdraw limitations.
Hannan said, “I am not (a) Nigerian. It is not for me to say whether it was time for a redesign of naira notes or whether such a change will make elections cleaner. But I do feel that friends of Nigeria, and friends of Nigerian democracy, should defend the rule of law there.
“At a time when democracy is in retreat globally, we all have a stake in Nigeria’s success. The country is Africa’s greatest economy, Africa’s greatest population and Africa’s greatest hope.
“That is why I have raised the issue of the attempt to detain Emefiele, in the Parliament. And that is why I hope that democrats on all sides will join Nigeria in supporting the independence of its institutions in the run-up to the 2023 elections – including, of course, the Central Bank.”