The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu has criticised the recent political action of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, describing it as “a joke taken too far.”
Akeredolu, who is Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said Emefiele’s decision to contest in the 2023 presidential election was unconventional and totally unsettling, given that he was a serving governor of the CBN.
The Ondo State governor in a statement on Friday, called on Emefiele to resign immediately as CBN Governor, adding that if he didn’t do so, then the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari must ensure he is removed without delay.
Excerpts from governor Akeredolu’s press statement:
“The news of the purchase of Declaration of Intent and Nomination Forms to contest for the office of the President in the forthcoming general elections, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, purportedly by the supporters of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has been received with palpable disbelief and shock by many Nigerians. This act, if unchecked, timeously, portends great danger to the fragile economy of the country.
“Rumours had been rife on the subterranean partisan activities linked to him through these shadowy characters in the recent weeks. Pictures of branded vehicles, ostensibly purchased for electioneering campaigns, were also posted on the social media. The audacious moves by those who claimed to be supporting this interest have been unsettling.
“This latest news confirms that the Governor may indeed be interested in immersing himself in the murky waters of politics like any other Nigerian with partisan interests. 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.
“There is no gain asserting the obvious. The combined effect of the Public Service Rules, CBN Act and the 1999 Constitution, as amended, exposes not only the oddity inherent in this brash exercise of presumed right to associate.
“It also confirms the illegality of the act should he proceed to submit the forms while occupying the seat as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Consequently, we admonish Mr Emefiele to leave the office, immediately, for him to pursue his interest. He cannot combine partisan politics with the very delicate assignment of his office. Should he refuse to quit, it becomes incumbent on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to remove him forthwith. “This is a joke taken too far.”
The news of Emefiele’s purchase of the expression of interest and nomination forms for the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential election on Friday, came weeks after he denied having any intentions to participate in politics. Earlier today, he said he was humbled by the kindness of those who obtained Presidential nomination forms for the forthcoming Presidential Election, but he hadn’t accepted to run.
According to him, he was more concerned about ensuring “a robust monetary policy and fighting inflation” as well as addressing other important economic needs of the country. He ended by urging the public not to distract him.
Similarly, Madam Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, told Emefiele to desist from playing hide and seek concerning his intention to be Nigeria’s next president and resign.
Ezekwesili noted that the game by Emefiele is embarrassing and toying with monetary authority of Nigeria. The BBOG activist said this while reacting to Emefiele’s recent statement stating he’s waiting for God’s divine intervention to decide if he would contest for Presidency.
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