By G9ija

The Ideas Nigeria Movement, a group of Nigerians with focus on national unity, innovation and capacity, has described as baseless calls by various persons and associations for Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to resign his position.

Emefiele had been caught in a vortex of criticisms for his alleged partisanship and purchase of Form to contest in the forthcoming primary of the All Progressives Congress for the presidential ticket of the party.

But in a statement on Sunday by its Executive Secretary, Mallam Nadodo Abubakar, INM said Emefiele has not breached any law, especially the Constitution, hence should not resign.

Emefiele had admitted that he was aware that a group of farmers had purchased the N100 million form on his behalf, but he was quick to reject the form, insisting that he was yet to take a decision on contesting for the Presidency.

The CBN Governor said: “Should I answer their calls and decide to seek presidential nomination, I will use my own hard earned savings from over 35 years of banking leadership to buy my own Nomination Forms without proxies in an open and transparent manner in full compliance with the laws and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

INM wondered why some persons are still calling on Emefiele to resign even when he has rejected the form and was yet to declare his intent to run, stressing that he as at today has not breached any extant law of the land.

The statement reads: “Even by his own admission, the CBN Governor has not formerly declared his intent to contest for the Presidential ticket of any party, yet certain persons are already calling for his head or his resignation while some are threatening to shut down the nation through protests. We dare say that these reactions are baseless, ultra vires and of no effect as they are based on hearsay and the actions of some Nigerians (not Emefiele) who are working at convincing Emefiele to join the Presidential race. It is therefore wrong and unjustifiable for critics of Emefiele to continue to demand for his resignation when the man, himself, has not officially declared his intention to run.

“We admit that several groups including professional bodies have since mounted pressure on Emefiele to contest the Presidency, such persuasions were only vicarious and do not represent his opinion or intendment. Even so, these groups were only persuading Mr. Emefiele to exercise his constitutional rights and liberties.”

The INM faulted critics who were referencing the Public Service Rules, CBN Act and 1999 Constitution to advance their argument, adding that quoting laws is not enough, but showing proof of how his “action or inaction offends any of the statutes.”

The statement continued: “The Constitution is clear on the matter of who should resign and when to resign in the case of appointees seeking election to political offices. While ruling on the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State capital, held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election and that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution. This ruling renders nugatory any other law, rule or Act of Parliament stipulating that appointees must resign ahead of the primary elections of their preferred party.

“Even if we assume, though not conceding, that Emefiele is running, he has not contravened any of the afore-listed canons often quoted by his traducers. For the avoidance of doubt, Emefiele has not breached any law. He has not shown any partisanship, neither has he mounted any rostrum nor undertaken any tour across the land to woo delegates of any political party. Every perceived political activity being linked to Emefiele was done by different groups who merely made persuasive efforts to compel him to run for Presidency on account of his antecedents as someone who believes in promoting a production economy as opposed to a consumption economy.

“It is no brainer that Emefiele remains the best CBN governor who has genuinely placed the nation on the path of economic diversification through a revolutionary turnaround of the agriculture ecosystem. Little wonder, farmers were the ones who enthusiastically purchased Form on his behalf but which he has rejected, according to his tweet.

“We reaffirm that Emefiele should not resign because he has not flouted any law. We recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia has effectively struck out Section 84(12) of the newly amended Electoral Act.”

The group said it is “shocked that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, and the Peoples Democratic Party should join the anti-Emefiele mob to demand for his resignation based on blatant falsehood and hearsay. Emefiele has openly told the world that he has not consented to the request of some patriots especially Nigerian farmers to run but would rather prefer to be Divinely guided on the matter, which he referred to as a ‘serious decision.’

“We urge Emefiele to stay focused on the good job he is doing at CBN where he has guided the nation’s economy out of two recessions, navigated the economic landmines of COVID-19 pandemic which consumed stronger economies in the advanced West.”