Rights activist Femi Falana has insisted President Muhammadu Buhari must sack Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele over his involvement in partisan politics.
Mr Falana said Mr Emefiele’s continued stay in office as CBN governor could erode and compromise the credibility of the 2023 general elections.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria expressed the opinion as a special guest at a South-West youths and women conference at Ado-Ekiti on Thursday.
“INEC is trying; it has deployed technology to get rid of rigging, but we can no longer keep sensitive election materials in the vault of the CBN,” said Mr Falana. “This is because the governor of the CBN is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress.
Mr Emefiele had indicated interest to contest as president in 2023 on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, but rescinded the decision on last Wednesday.
Mr Falana said that for free, fair and credible 2023 general elections, INEC should not keep sensitive election materials at the CBN with Mr Emefiele sitting in office as its governor.
“It has never happened anywhere in the world; this is very dangerous. The CBN governor’s power is enormous under the CBN Act, so he can’t be a politician.
“We can’t look for alternative place to keep our electoral materials; it is the CBN governor that must be removed and whether President Buhari likes it or not, Emefiele must go.
“Some Civil Society Organisations have filed a motion against him and we will pursue it to a logical conclusion,’’ Mr Falana stressed.
The conference where Mr Falana spoke was put together by two NGOs, the New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGAWD) and Balm in Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development (BIGIF).
The BIGIF and NIGAWD Executive Directors, Oluwatumininu Adedeji and Abimbola Aladejare-Salako, respectively, urged INEC and other stakeholders to work hard to prevent rigging, bloodshed and violence at the oncoming Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
Governorship elections are to hold in Ekiti on June 18 and in Osun on July 16.
Messrs Adedeji and Aladejare-Salako also asked that youths and women be included in policymaking organs of all political parties to give them recognition.
The event was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, the National Democratic Institute and the United Kingdom Agency for International Development.
It has the slogan: “Vote not Fight.’’
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