2023 presidency: Resign if you wish to contest – Akeredolu tells Emefiele

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The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has called on Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), to resign if he has interest in the 2023 presidential election.

Akeredolu made the call in response to a report that the All Progressives Congress (APC) nomination form has been purchased for Emefiele to contest the 2023 presidential election by his supporters.

A coalition comprising Rice Farmers Association, Emefiele Support Group and Friends of Godwin on Friday obtained
the nomination and expression of interest forms for him.

The CBN governor had denied having interest in the presidency.

Akeredolu, in a statement he personally signed on Friday in Akure, said the reported intention of Emefiele to contest the presidential election was “received with palpable disbelief and shock by many Nigerians”.

Akeredolu said, while Emefiele has the constitutional right to belong to and participate full in any group or association, “doing so as the CBN governor is brazen.”

“This act, if unchecked, timeously, portends great danger to the fragile economy of the country,” he stated.

He noted that pictures of branded vehicles, ostensibly purchased for electioneering, were also posted on the 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.

“Consequently, we admonish Mr Emefiele to leave the office, immediately, for him to pursue his interest,” he said.

According to Akeredolu, Emefiele 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.

“This is a joke taken too far,” Akeredolu said.

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