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Nigerians Call on CBN Governor, Emefiele to Resign

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Godwin Emefiele

The purchase of presidential nomination forms for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele is causing unease in Nigeria.

The Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) were paid and picked up for Mr. Emefiele by a coalition of support groups pushing for him to run in the 2023 Presidential Election.

The CBN governor is yet to speak about his much-talked-about presidential ambition, but prominent Nigerians and organisations are asking him to resign or be sacked.

CBN Governor Must Disengage -Akeredolu
The governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu is one of the first politicians to publicly ask Mr. Emefiele to resign.

Akeredolu new

In a letter he personally signed, Governor Akeredolu wrote, “it is incontrovertible that Mr. Emefiele enjoys a constitutionally protected right to belong to any group or association and participate fully, just as any Nigerian.

“It is, however, difficult to imagine that a person who occupies the exalted and sensitive office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria will be this brazen in actualizing his ambition.”

Governor Akeredolu who is a lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) wrote that the “combined effect of the Public Service Rules, CBN Act and the 1999 Constitution, as amended” exposes the oddity in Mr. Emefiele’s reported pursuit of Nigeria’s top job.

The governor concluded his letter by urging Mr. Emefiele to leave the CBN office “immediately” to pursue his interest as he cannot combine “partisan politics with the very delicate assignment of his office.”

SERAP Urges Buhari to Remove Emefiele
A pro-transparency organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has also asked the CBN governor to “immediately resign his position.”

SERAP has gone further to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately remove” the CBN governor.

Emefiele and Buhari 1

“We urge President Buhari to exercise his power under section 11(2)(f) of the CBN Act to immediately remove the CBN governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele over his engagement in partisan politics, contrary to section 9 of the CBN Act,” the organisation wrote.

No Word from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was yet to say anything about the purchase of the APC nomination forms for Mr. Emefiele as of 7 am Saturday.

The party is planning to take over the presidency from the ruling APC when Nigerians go to the polls in the 2023 General Election.

It boasts an array of influential politicians who have already declared their interest in succeeding President Buhari, including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; the outspoken Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; and the media-friendly former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

Many Nigerians have however shown their disapproval of the CBN governor’s reported interest in partisan politics.

What the Constitution Says
Section 9 of the CBN Act, 2007, referred to by SERAP states that “The (CBN) Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the Bank and while holding office shall not engage in any full or part time employment or vocation whether remunerated or not except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full time duties.”

Mr. Emefiele has neither publicly expressed his interest in being Nigeria’s president nor shut down the calls by the various groups asking him to run.

As a result, some analysts say he has done nothing wrong. That could change if he accepts the APC forms already paid for by support groups.

Emefiele poster 3

There is no precedence upon which to judge the inactions of the CBN governor. 

He is expected to be non-partisan and to focus on his job, in line with the CBN Act. 

The closest Nigeria has got to a “political” CBN governor was during the government of President Goodluck Jonathan when the then head of the apex bank, Sanusi Lamido consistently criticised the president and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for corruption.

This led to his ouster by the government and his succession by Mr. Emefiele.


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