President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend ordered Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to go back to their respective positions, a presidency source has confirmed.
While Emefiele wanted to run for the office of president, Malami had wanted to succeed Atiku Bagudu as Kebbi State governor. Earlier, there were reports that President Buhari had directed Emefiele to resign on Monday following calls by many groups demanding his resignation.
However, speaking with Daily Independent, a presidency source said President Buhari has asked both Malami and Emefiele to go back to their respective duties.
“Both men won’t resign. As at today, May 15, it is clear that Emefiele is not running. The president has asked him and Malami to go back to their respective duties. It is more like a soft landing for them”.
Also on Sunday, Malami’s media aide, Jubrilu Gwandu, issued a statement, saying while Malami has not resigned as claimed, he has pulled out of the Kebbi governorship race.
“Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has not resigned. He withdrew his ambition to contest for the 2023 Kebbi State gubernatorial elections.
“Malami has the right to choose to voluntarily shelve his gubernatorial ambition. It is a matter of personal conviction and individual right which didn’t violate any law. Right thinking members of the society accord respect to individual’s right to freedom of choice in matters relating to this.
“As individual Nigerian citizens with inalienable fundamental rights, we are not aware of any legally justifiable and reasonable tenable obligations compelling the person of Abubakar Malami, SAN or as an Attorney-General of the Federation to do otherwise. The decision is not only a demonstration of altruism and patriotism, but of contentment, self-control, placidity and decisiveness in problem-solving at a time shrouded with confusing and competing stimulus. It is a commendable posture worthy admiration coming from a paragon of virtue”.
In a related development, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari should sack of the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emeifele, for his involvement in partisan politics while still in office as head of the apex bank.
Sagay, in an interview with Daily Independent, said that Emefiele’s desire to contest the 2023 presidency despite his position as CBN governor is abominable and totally unacceptable.
He, however, allayed the fears of some Nigerians that sensitive election materials kept in custody of the CBN by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be tampered with.
“I think his position is abominable and totally unacceptable. He has to resign. In fact, I think he should be sacked by the president. But I don’t agree that his attitude will affect the security of election materials.
“That he wanted to contest or not cannot affect election materials at all because the system of voting we have now only allows a voter through if he/she has a voter’s card and the machine has to capture your fingerprints and your face. So, there is nothing Emefiele can do with the election materials which can affect the election.
“You have to go through the biometric process when you want to vote. So, I don’t see any reason why people should be worried about election materials kept in CBN custody”, Sagay said.
The National Youth Council of Nigeria has called for the sack of the central bank governor for his involvement in partisan politics.
The group said Emefiele did not deserve to retain his position even if he gave up his presidential ambition.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the council’s president, Solomon Adodo, explained that the CBN governor had demonstrated partisanship and his continued stay in office is a risk to the nation.
He said, “On a particularly different note, the NYCN has learnt that the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has met with President Muhammadu Buhari and maybe considering a volte-face in his political ambition. “We dare remind the president that it is no longer possible for him to forgo his ambition and still remain the CBN governor, having demonstrated partisanship.
“Many analysts have rightly observed that since the CBN is the custodian of electoral sensitive materials, Mr. Emefiele having openly shown that he is a member of the All Progressives Congress cannot under any modicum of morality, have the Nigerian electoral sensitive materials under his custody during an election.
“He, therefore, should be asked to resign, whether he is still pursuing his ambition or not.