President Muhammadu Buhari has advanced reason he didn’t sack Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over his alleged presidential bid.
Buhari said Emefiele’s presidential aspiration did not affect his role as the boss of the apex bank.
Emefiele had surreptitiously made some attempts to seek the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress. His aspiration drew widespread criticisms from Nigerians, who criticised him for engaging in partisan politics while still governor of the CBN.
Emefiele’s critics had demanded his sack, but President Buhari said he couldn’t take any unilateral decision on the matter despite his position as the country’s number one leader.
“The CBN governor is appointed by the President. But this appointment is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” Buhari said in a Bloomberg Q&A.
The CBN Act, among other conditions for the removal of a sitting governor of the apex bank, does not include partisan political participation as part of the grounds.
Buhari said only the CBN Board of Directors has the powers to sack the apex bank governor.
“Ultimately, it will be for the CBN’s board of directors to determine whether a CBN governor’s actions have fallen foul of the laws in place to ensure he can most effectively carry out his duties,” Buhari said.
But Buhari noted that “there is a subtext to the accusations” about Emefiele’s fitness to remain CBN governor.
Buhari said, “Because the governor follows a model outside of the economic orthodoxy, he is labelled political. But the orthodoxy has proved wrong time and again.
“Instead, the governor is following an alternative economic model that puts people at the heart of policy. Nigeria should be free to choose its development model and how to construct our economy, so it functions for Nigerians.”
The CBN governor discontinued his presidential aspiration before the APC presidential primary election won by the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Emefiele also withdrew a suit against the Attorney-General and the Independent National Electoral Commission over an alleged plan to disqualify him from contesting in the ruling party’s presidential primary election.