THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is not aware of Godwin Emefiele’s links to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the 2023 presidential election.
Emefiele is the Governor of the CBN.
Some groups, including the Nigeria Patriot Quest (NPQ), Unified Northern Nigeria Youth Forum (UNNYF) and Green Alliance Movement (GAM), have been urging Emefiele to join the race to succeed incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although Emefiele has not openly declared an interest in the election, he is being linked to the APC.
The CBN governor’s campaign posters were prominently displayed at the Eagle Square in Abuja, venue of the national convention of the APC, on March 26.
Besides the presence of his posters and banners at the APC national convention, inscriptions on the campaign materials suggested that the CBN governor was a member of the APC.
Concerns have been raised over the independence of the CBN when the head of the institution is being strongly linked to the country’s ruling party.
Section 9 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act stipulated that “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.”
CBN says its not aware of governor’s links to APC, 2023 presidential election
The CBN said it was not aware of Emefiele’s links to the APC and the presidential election when the apex bank was contacted by The ICIR over the matter on March 28.
“He is the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, I am not aware of all these things you are saying,” spokesman of the CBN Osita Nwanisobi said in response to enquiries by The ICIR.
The ICIR contacted the CBN spokesman on the phone.
Seeking the reaction of the CBN to Emefiele’s links to the APC and the 2023 election, The ICIR had asked whether Emefiele was a card-carrying member of the ruling party, and whether the apex bank governor was nursing a presidential ambition.
The ICIR also wanted to know if the groups that are campaigning for the CBN governor have any direct links to him.
Nwanisobi later drew The ICIR’s attention to a post made by the CBN governor on Twitter, on March 28, in response to the controversy raised by his alleged presidential ambition.
Although he concluded the tweet with #NoDistractionsPlease, Emefiele did not address the issues at the heart of the matter – his links to the APC and the 2023 presidential election.
Emefiele silent on links to 2023 presidential election in tweet
Emefiele’s tweet read, “My focus at this time is a robust monetary policy and fighting inflation which is now a global problem; building a strong financial system in an increasingly uncertain global economy.
“Development finance and supporting farmers and manufacturers in our self-sufficiency and import substitution drive; raising N15 trillion for InfraCo infrastructure financing.
“Building a world-class International Financial Center in Lagos; as we support the @MBuhari Administration to finish strong. #NoDistractionsPlease.”
The CBN spokesman did not respond when The ICIR later pointed out that Emefiele’s tweet did not address the 2023 presidential campaign posters, calls on him to contest the presidential election and his links to the APC.
CBN governor’s action illegal, immoral… Onyekpere
However, concerns are trailing the CBN governor’s links to the APC and the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking to The ICIR on March 28, Director of the Centre for Social Justice Eze Onyekpere said the CBN governor was engaged in illegal and immoral acts.
Onyekpere also described the situation as shameless.
“The man (Emefiele) wants to run for president and he is busy pasting his posters everywhere. Nobody is calling on him. Who are these people calling on him? You can’t run for president without being a card-carrying member of a political party,” Onyekpere said.
“The point is what he is doing is illegal and immoral. And it is shameless on his part. If the powers that be don’t like what he is doing wouldn’t they ask him to resign?” What he is doing is immoral but then we are dealing with human beings who have no morals, who have no qualms, who don’t care about decorum.”
“Otherwise why will he be using public money for this? It is a big shame,” he added.
Emefiele’s reaction fails to allay concerns
Emefiele’s reaction to the situation, as contained in the post he made on Twitter on March 28, failed to allay concerns over his alleged links to partisan politics.
A Twitter user, Teslim Shitta-Bey, reacting to Emefiele’s tweet, wrote, “Global best practice is that the Central Bank governor stays in the rarefied bubble of monetary policy. Allowing himself to be dragged into the mire of partisan politics, the CBN governor would be breaking bread with disaster.”
Also reacting to the CBN governor’s tweet, a Twitter user June12Post asked, “Is this a disclaimer to proxy campaign for you to contest for president in 2023?”
Another Twitter user, @Frank_Obiora, has questions for Emefiele. “My questions to you are: 1. Are you truly a card-carrying APC member. 2. Do you have your eyes on Aso Rock whilst still the Governor of the Apex bank?”
Lawyer Liz, reacting to the tweet asked Emefiele: “Are you contesting or not??”
Another Twitter user, @PapaEngagement, demanded the CBN governor’s resignation. “After klling the Naira you want to run for President as a CBN Governor. Oga, you want finish our money on top campaign abi. Oga you must resign.”
Akin Adeniyi accused Emefiele of being clever by half and asked him to make his position clear to Nigerians.
“Godwin, please you need to stop being cagey and clever by half. Surely you’ve seen what @PeterObi did in his own DECLARATION to run. That is what is expected of honourable men. Tell Nigerians your position, call your alleged sponsors to order and end this charade. Wisdom, not smarty.”
Faulting Emefiele’s tweet, Hendricks @frankwyte1982 blamed the situation on the APC and Buhari.
According to him, the APC and Buhari have promoted impunity in the country
He said, “What a disclaimer. President Buhari and APC [have] really ruined this country!! No ethics. No respect for the Constitution. Terrible.”