Central Bank governor sparks Nigeria election storm


Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor is under pressure to resign amid purported presidential ambitions ahead of the 2023 crucial elections.

Political parties and civil society organisations are planning to occupy the CBN headquarters in the capital Abuja next week to force Godwin Emefiele’s resignation or that he denounces groups campaigning for him.

Organisations affiliated to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are campaigning for his candidature.

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs) believe this is a source of distraction to his duties.

They also believe for an individual to seek political office while at the helm of the apex bank is an affront to Nigeria’s Constitution.

Willy Ezugwu, Secretary General of CNPP, and Alhaji Ali Abacha, National Secretary of CNCSOs, jointly stated, quoting Section 9 of the CBN Act 2007.

“The 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.”

Abacha and Ezugwu stated, “Action has become necessary to save the Nigerian economy from total collapse.”

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy with a gross domestic product of over US$480 billion but is going through some challenges blamed on the volatile oil industry and impact of COVID-19.

“It has become imperative to minimize the stress on the economy and to ensure that the relevant laws in the country are respected to the letter,” Abacha and Ezugwu stated.

Their organisations are demanding the removal of posters of Emefiele displayed around the CBN headquarters, in other parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some cities if he does not harbour presidential ambitions.

If not done by Friday, they would occupy CBN headquarters.

Emefiele, in a tweet, indicated his focus was on CBN, prioritising a robust monetary policy and fighting inflation.

Aged 51, he has been CBN governor since 2014 after his appointment by then-president, Goodluck Jonathan.

Current president, Muhammadu Buhari, is not eligible to stand for polls in 2023.

– CAJ News

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