The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu had called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sack the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, for obtaining of All Progressives Congress presidential nomination form.
This was as the Peoples Democratic Party also lambasted the CBN Governor over the issue.
Akeredolu, in a statement he personally signed on Friday, said Emefiele’s purported action, “if unchecked timeously portends great danger to the fragile economy of the country.”
The governor said, “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 actualising 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.
“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.”
Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Debo Ologunagba, told Saturday PUNCH that the CBN Act clearly stated that the governor and deputy governors of the bank must be fully dedicated to their jobs.
Ologunagba berated the ruling APC and the President for promoting impunity and refusing to force Emefiele to leave office.
He added, “The CBN governor is governed by the CBN Act. Section 9 is unambiguously clear about what the CBN governor and deputies should do and it says they shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the bank and they will not engage in any other vocation.
Now, his action is completely in contravention of that Act and that amounts to gross misconduct and that qualifies him to be removed from office in line with Section 11 of the Act. This is completely irresponsible and at variance with our laws.”
The PDP spokesman said it was unfortunate that the CBN governor, who ought to be focused on the nation’s monetary policy, had the time to engage in partisan politics, adding that it was time for Nigerians to vote in the PDP to restore order.
Also reacting, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Seyi Sowemimo, said the CBN governor” could not afford the distraction of the presidential bid.
He told one of our correspondents, “I have been seeing posters and been hearing that he is interested, but I saw it as a joke, because when you are managing the economy, I don’t think you have the time for this sort of distraction. With the way the economy is now, they should be fully engaging his attention and it even requires more than the time he can spare. But if he wants to do it, he should resign.
“For many of those people who want to contest, they should resign because the time and the effort that they will require to do these things will definitely impact adversely on their abilities to discharge the functions of the offices they are occupying.
Of all offices, the one that will really require the occupants to stay away from politics is that of the CBN governor and more so because the way the economy is now requires somebody who will devote 100 per cent of his time; so, what does he want to be doing campaigning all over the country and leaving the office to the deputy governor or what?”