CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele Is Being Chastised For His Presidential Ambitions
Emefiele, the head of Nigeria’s central bank, had gotten the N100 million presidential nomination forms.
Nigerians have slammed CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele for his presidential ambition.
Naija news reports that the decision of Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to run for president of the country has sparked outrage among Nigerians, who have continued to voice shock and disgust over the event.
On Thursday, Emefiele, who is serving his second term as governor of Nigeria’s central bank, got the ruling All Progressives Congress’s (APC) N100 million presidential nomination papers.
The revelation, which means he is now a card-carrying member of a political party, has sparked constitutional and ethical concerns, prompting calls for his resignation.
The CBN governor’s banners and advertising materials were in the public domain, and his supporters were mobilising for him around the country, conducting conferences and demonstrations.
Since the Delta State-born banker’s power bid became public knowledge, months after he had maintained, notwithstanding suspicions, that he was focused on his profession, anger and disbelief have grown in the country’s social media realm.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Following reports that the CBN governor Mr Godwin Emefiele has picked the APC N100m presidential nomination form, we urge him to immediately resign his position in line with S. 9 of the CBN Act,” rights group, Socioeconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) declared.
Abdul Mahmoud Reaction
Abdul Mahmoud, alias Dr Great Oracle, a popular advocate noted that the CBN boss’ decision literally amounted to poking his fingers at Nigerians and Nigeria’s laws.
“Emefiele is now poking his fingers at us and our law. This is just beyond contemplation, reason and logic that a sitting CBN governor is not only a closet member of a political party, he’s actively taking part in a partisan contest in defiance of Section 1 (3) of of the CBN Act, 2007 which secures the independence of CBN,” noted the human rights lawyer via his Twitter handle @AbdulMahmud01.
“Section 9 of the act talks about the governor having no other vocation than running the CBN. If this isn’t a vocation for politics, nothing is. Terrible.”
Apart from its apparent illegality, the outrage over Emefiele’s attempt at the highest post in the country originates, probably more importantly, from his lacklustre tenure at the central bank.
Under his leadership, the naira has been in free slide, approaching N600 to the dollar. Under his leadership, the country has experienced a severe recession twice. Inflation is in double digits, and the jobless rate is at 35%.
Worse, many people believe he is operating the bank like a tyrant. He banned bitcoin trading early last year, which many young Nigerians had begun to welcome as a means out of the country’s high unemployment rates.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s Reaction
Ondo State governor and chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, slammed the CBN governor for running for President in 2023 while in office.
Emefiele’s move, according to Gov. Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was unusual, illegal, and “a joke carried too far.”
Emefiele reportedly visited Buhari in Aso Villa on Friday to inform him of his presidential ambitions in 2023, according to the Ondo governor.
According to him, “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.”
SAN Ebun Oluwa Adegboruwa’s Reaction
In his reaction, Ebun Oluwa Adegboruwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria, said:
“I believe that the case of the CBN governor highlights the nature of governance that we have in Nigeria, which is everybody to yourself and no one for all. Things have fallen apart. It is the height of impunity and scandalous of the All Progressives Congress government for allowing him to bastardise his office,”
The senior lawyer who demanded the governor’s immediate sack, noted that the declaration makes a mockery of the country’s democratic experience.
“It is a mockery of our democratic experience and an abuse of decency. It is recklessness. I believe lawyers and lovers of peace should call for his removal or sacking,” he said.
“By purchasing the form, he lost the moral authority to function as governor of CBN. He should leave to join his colleagues in politics. He should not rubbish the office.
“The Nigerian Bar Association and civil society organisations should demand that all the money paid to him by the CBN should be refunded.”
The lawyer also alleged that Emefiele’s attention had been in politics, saying that may be responsible for the country’s poor economic growth.
Obiageli Ezekwesili’s Reaction
Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, said that the Emefiele had turned over leadership of the apex bank to President Muhammadu Buhari after the latter took office.
She also said that the bank’s “ill-advised monetary policies” during the last seven years were motivated by politics.
Following rumours that Emefiele had chosen the All Progressives Congress’s N100 million presidential nomination and declaration of interest form, Ezekwesili made his accusations. He allegedly obtained the paperwork on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
In a series of tweets on Friday, the former minister said that the faulty monetary policies since Buhari took office in 2015 were proof that the bank had turned over its independence to the President.
Emefiele’s open partisan politics, she claimed, stemmed from the underlying politics behind the bad monetary policies and alleged control of the CBN by Buhari.
She wrote, “If you did not know all along that Nigeria’s serial wrong and ill-advised Monetary Policies of the last 7 years were political because the @cenbank long handed its independence to the Villa @NGRPresident @MBuhari , at least now you know. They’ve outed themselves. Finally.”
Oby Ezekwesili, however, asked the CBN governor to resign from his position and pursue his “ill-fated political career”.
She tweeted, “The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria @cenbank must now immediately tender his resignation to stop further destroying whatever little remains of the country’s monetary policy reputation. Mr Emefele should leave immediately- tonight- to pursue his ill-fated political career,” She said.
“The audacity of Emefiele, a serving CBN governor to obtain the presidential form of the APC shows there’s no one in charge of Nigeria at the moment. Buhari is just existing in Aso Rock with no clues as to what is going on under his nose.This brazen impunity scares me,” fumed social critic Henry Shield Nwazuluahu, @henryshield.
Morris Money’s Reaction
Moris Monye, a popular social media commentator, in a rather sarcastic tweet, summed up all that is wrong with a man who controls the country’s vault taking part in an election.
“If Emefiele does not win the APC primaries with the vast power at his possession then he doesn’t know the ball,” Monye wrote.
“He can freeze opponents’ accounts, deny some people bullion vans, credit delegates any amount in their account, and bring raw, cold dollars in cash if they want. Limitless power.”
For Chidi Odinkalu, another human rights lawyer, the CBN governor’s move has to be some sort of a joke taken too far.
“Mr. Emefiele & his #Meffy2023 gang believe that they can get installed as Nigerian president by riding #CartsAndHorses through the Central Bank,” Odinkalu wrote, via @ChidiOdinkalu.
“He’ll 1st have to turn over #TheMint to a judge in his back pocket who will rule that party politicking is a “charitable cause.”‘
For another popular Twitter commentator, NEFERTITI, @firstladyship, the governor’s move has to be some sort of madness.
“CBN governor destroyed the naira & institutionalized arbitrage in the forex market. He restricted fintechs & blocked bank accounts of peaceful EndSARS protesters,” she said.
“So where did Godwin Emefiele get the N100m for his APC presidential form? Any limit to this N100m declaration madness?”
Financial expert, Kalu Aja, @FinPlanKaluAja1, is obviously lost for words.
“I have to collect my thoughts,” he wrote.
”We are going to talk about this on Spaces, and I will write an article on this. This is unbelievable, I honestly am in shock.
“I fear for the naira (it will fall). All those “loans” given to farmers are all gone.”