Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has asked the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, to resign if he has interest in 2023 Presidency.
Akeredolu made the call hours after the CBN governor joined the presidential race of the 2023 general elections.
Emefiele picked the N100 million forms from the party’s organising secretary at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja, on Friday morning.
Akeredolu, in a statement personally signed by him, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to terminate his appointment, if he refuses to quit, saying, “This is a joke taken too far.”
It read in part, “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 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.
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“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.”
The CBN governor’s decision to run for the office of the president followed months of speculations regarding political aspirations of the Agbor, Delta State-born former managing director of Zenith Bank.
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He had, in response to the move to vie for Nigeria’s number one office, asked speculators not to distract him, saying he would rather focus on fixing Nigeria’s monetary policies and aligning them with the federal government’s fiscal policies.