Emefiele: Resign Or Lose Our Respect, Economists Tell CBN Gov Over Botched Presidential Bid

Some economists have advised the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to willingly resign from his position and tender public apology to Nigerians after his failed bid to run for president in the interest of the apex bank.

The economists who spoke to THE WHISTLER counselled Emefiele to step down from the position to avoid bringing further disrepute to the country’s apex bank.

A professor of Economics at the Kaduna State University, Ibrahim Umar, said the least folks in professional circles expect from Emefiele was for him to quietly step down after venturing into politics while still occupying office against provisions of the constitution.

Emefiele, who has headed the CBN for eight years since 2014, had recently confirmed his interest in the presidency when he approached the FCT Federal High Court to seek the determination of his right to contest the 2023 presidency.

Prior to this, photos of over 80 branded vehicles bearing Emefiele’s picture and logo of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had flooded the internet, after which a group purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms in the CBN governor’s name.

Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria governor

While Professor Umar noted that Emefiele’s mere indication of interest in the presidency may not leave any negative impression on the country’s monetary regime, he said the CBN chief’s future actions and inactions may be interpreted in certain ways.

“It (monetary policy) has nothing to do with politics, politics is just personal. And you know we can’t judge him (Emefiele) based on the fact that he made some utterances in the past,” Umar said, adding “We can only judge him based on subsequent actions and the directions that the monetary policy will take in the future.”

The former ABU lecturer, however, said “If in a couple of months or years there is a sudden change in the initial trajectory, we will now begin to raise questions.”

Umar said the CBN governor will lose the respect of fellow professionals if he refuses to yield to the calls for resignation.

“Secondly, for me, if he wants to retain the respect of professionals like us, he should quietly apologize and resign because that is what we know gentlemen of the corporate world do elsewhere. If he should continue staying in the office, for me, he is going to lose my respect,” he said.

A source at the presidency had earlier told THE WHISTLER that President Muhammadu Buhari felt embarrassed by Emefiele’s foray into politics and brazen filing of lawsuits against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of Federation in support of his presidential bid when indeed he should be apolitical.

This website learnt that the president had “scolded” Emefiele for going against provisions of the CBN Act which forbid the apex bank’s chiefs from engaging in other activities outside their primary responsibilities of ensuring monetary and price stability in the country.

Professor Umar said while it is not uncommon for appointees of key government agencies to pander to “the power that be”, going as far as seeking elective office while still occupying office amounts to “impunity”.

“I think it was unfortunate on his (Emefiele’s) side as a professional to have indicated his tendency to seek public (political) office. You know, you find this funny attitude in developing countries like Nigeria. In a civilized society, if you are thinking of going into politics, then you should hand off. The constitution is clear on this. So, it is purely what I call impunity or what people call impunity. Because you have power, [you think] you can do what you like.

“I was not happy with his last statement when he said he was enjoying himself, what does that mean? He is having fun?” he quizzed.

Also speaking to THE WHISTLER, the immediate past Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, agreed with those who say it would be inappropriate for Emefiele to continue as CBN governor after his botched presidential bid.

“I agree with what they’re saying because he has not denied that he is a card-carrying member of the party (APC) because we were told that he is a member of the party and that he registered maybe a year or two years ago.

Immediate Past Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf

“So, we cannot have somebody sitting in that position and be politically partisan. Because as a CBN Governor you have to relate with all stakeholders without any form of bias. You must be perceived as neutral, as independent, as professional and then also the issue of corporate governance. I mean these are elementary principles that anybody occupying such a position must observe apart from the issue of legality.

“So, I agree with that position that it is not appropriate for him to remain in that office having come this far in the partisan political space.”

Asked if he thinks President Buhari would sack the CBN governor if he refuses to resign, Yusuf said “I don’t think so.”

Yusuf, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), said Buhari may find it difficult to relieve Emefiele of his job because they are “too close”.

“…the kind of confidence that the man (Emefiele) is displaying, you will know he has a very strong footing. I mean he was telling people to go and have heart attacks after visiting the president. I mean something must have been giving him that audacity. So, now that he has withdrawn, I don’t think the president will ask him to go.”

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.