A coalition of Civil Society Organisations, comprising Budgit, Enough is Enough, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Centre for Women’s Health and Information, Community Life Project, Dataphyte, Kili Ceramics, Sesor Empowerment Foundation, The Electoral Hub, and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, have called on the National Assembly to commence the process to terminate the appointment of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele if he refuses to resign despite his partisanship.
In a statement made available to The PUNCH, the CSOs said Emefiele’s political ambition and partisanship had made him a liability to the CBN and also hinder the independent decision-making role required of his office.
The statement partly read, “We remain resolute in our stance, Godwin Emefiele’s political ambition hinders the independent decision-making his role requires, and therefore a liability to the credibility of the Central Bank, Independent National Electoral Commission and our electoral process.
“He should therefore resign immediately to pursue his partisan interests or the National Assembly should commence the process to terminate his appointment. Separation of powers is at the heart of any democracy, and it is for this reason that by our laws, the CBN Governor cannot be appointed or removed at will by the executive arm of government. In addition, for the same reason, two-thirds of the Senate, not a simple majority, is required for the Governor’s removal by the legislative arm. Therefore, the breach of this principle by Godwin Emefiele should not stand.
“As is typical in an election season, various political players are indulging in tactics that are inconsistent with democratic values. The high cost of nomination forms, unknown form buyers, media disinformation and other political gimmicks are some ways politicians, especially the governing party, are distracting citizens from focusing on the key issues of governance and leadership that Nigeria needs at this time.
“At the minimum, Nigeria deserves a leader with; a strong commitment and respect for the rule of law and judicial integrity, an understanding of and respect for the separation of powers – legislative, executive and judiciary, and the ability to uphold the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended) for equity and justice, and a drive in the direction of preserving the dignity of Nigerian citizens.
The coalition stated that it was important to remind Nigerians of these critical issues in light of the decision by the CBN Governor to contest for the office of the president.
It further said, “The CBN Act (2007), was written to protect the CBN from external political interference, not expecting that the interference could be internal at the highest level. Mr Emefiele joined the All Progressives Congress in February 2021 and it is significant to note that neither he nor his party members led by the President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), thought this was contrary to the spirit and the letter of his terms of engagement as CBN Governor. It is also instructive that Mr President and the Presidency have not issued a statement on this unfolding drama.
“If there is any doubt to the implied and expected neutrality of the CBN, Nigerians should be reminded that the materials for our elections are kept in the CBN offices across the country and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, an agency of the CBN, prints some of our election materials.”
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