The governor of Ondo State Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has described as a joke taken too far the rumoured presidential ambition of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele.
In a post on his verified social media platform Arakinrin Akeredolu said the news of the purchase of Declaration of Intent and Nomination Forms to contest for the office of the President in the forthcoming general elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) purportedly by the supporters of Mr Emefiele was “received with palpable disbelief and shock by many Nigerians. This act, if unchecked, timeously, portends great danger to the fragile economy of the country”.
In the post titled: “The CBN Governor Must Disengage Forthwith”, the senior lawyer stressed that rumours had been rife on the subterranean partisan activities linked to the CBN governor through shadowy characters in the recent weeks. He said 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 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.
The senior lawyer, therefore, insists that Mr Emefiele should immediately leave the office he presently occupied 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”, he concluded.
The CBN governor has though not publicly declared his interest in the coveted position, his ‘body language” however suggests that he may indeed have an interest in succeeding his boss after May 2023. Mr Emefiele was physically present at the recently held APC National Convention and was even recognised by the compere at the occasion.