More Nigerians have condemned the move by Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor to contest in the 2023 presidential election on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform while retaining his position at the apex bank.
Recall that Emefiele had last week, purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms through an association of rice farmers.
Although he, amid the outrage the move generated, denied sanctioning the purchase, noting that he was yet to make up his mind about running for president, he would subsequently approach the court to ask that he be allowed to run.
On Monday, his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, filed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/610/2022 at a federal high court, Abuja challenging the legality of Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act and to prevent its application to him (a government appointee) in his aspiration to vie for the APC Presidential ticket.
But the CBN governor’s strange quest for president has continued to draw the ire of many Nigerians who have continued to express shock over the development, even as calls for his removal have gotten louder.
On Tuesday, Prof Kingsley Mogahalu, a former Deputy Governor of the CBN, also took exception to Emefiele’s action, describing it as a breach of the CBN Act.
Mogahalu, who is an aspirant under the African Democratic Congress, accused Emefiele of using public office to attain his personal interest, urging Nigerians not to reward such an act.
The former CBN deputy governor spoke while picking up the expression of interest form at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.
“I weep for this nation with the development at the CBN. It is deeply wrong to play politics while in office. It is a violation of ethics, moral and the law. What we are seeing is the privatisation of public office for personal gains,” he said.
“The CBN act is clear; Section (9) states that the CBN governor and his deputy should not engage in other employment of vocation. A vocation is something that could take up your time; it may not be a job, it may not be something you could put your hands on, but something that your have your mind and heart in, apart from your duties.
“For the CBN Governor, his heart and mind is in politics up to the extent of going to a law court to seek support for his ambition. First of all, I want to say Nigerians have no business in rewarding this massive breach of the rule of law because the action of the CBN governor shows a contempt of the rule of law. The individual in question has been monumentally incompetent and Nigerians should not support incompetence.”
On its part, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) protested against what it described as the denigration of the CBN Act by Emefiele.
Declaring that the CBN governor has dragged a revered institution of government into partisan politics, the NYCN said it shall consult widely and take appropriate actions.
The President of NYCN, Solomon Adodo, stated these during the launch of the Youth-Run Campaign in Abuja on Tuesday with the theme, ‘Youth rising for a united Nigeria.’
According to him, “In the light of the current developments of searching for credible leaders at all levels we herein state the following :
“Our doors are open to all aspirants across all party lines for proper consultation. Aspirants must show their clear plans for the youth and seal a pact of partnership to ensure youth potentials are moved to productivity.
Similarly, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Emefiele over his involvement in politics.
Speaking during a press briefing held alongside the Coalition of National Civil Society Organizations, the Secretary General of the group, Chief Willy Ezugwu and the National Secretary for the CSOs, Ali Abacha, insisted that Emefiele’s involvement in politics was in clear violation of the Public Service rules and the CBN Act.
The group threatened that it would persuade serving judicial officers to pick up nomination forms from political parties of their choice, should Buhari fail to sack Emefiele.
It stated, “Their intention was to cause a breach of peace as a licence for security agencies to give the protesters the #EndSARS treatment. In this light, the hired hoodlums were to sneak into the crowd of protesters and attack the CBN headquarters with weapons while a counter-protest was also arranged for the same day.
“Our findings revealed that Mr Godwin Emefiele joined the APC and became a card-carrying member of the party in 2019, which proved that the CBN governor’s presidential ambition was premeditated and has been in his plans before 2019 when he eventually joined partisan politics. This is contrary to the Mr. Godwin Emefiele’s position that his focus was on his job at the CBN.”
Meanwhile, the presidency, speaking through Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, on Tuesday said it would wait for the decision of the court before deciding the fate of the CBN governor.