Protesters in their hundreds on Wednesday besieged the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) located in Central Business District demanding the removal of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele from office. They called for the resignation of Emefiele, over what they described as his refusal to appear before security operatives for questioning.
The placard-carrying protesters alleged that the CBN Governor is a threat to national security, demanding that he must resign or be sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari. The demonstrators, under the auspices of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and other civil society groups, also said Emefiele should acknowledge the invitation of the Department of State Service (DSS). Recall that the DSS had recently gone to court to seek an order to arrest and detain Emefiele over terrorism allegation but a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja declined their application.
The court said there was no strong evidence from the DSS to back the allegation in the application. Not satisfied with the judgement, NYCN President, Comrade Solomon Adodo, who led the protesters at the gate of the CBN, on Wednesday vowed that the group will continue the protest in Abuja and across the country until Emefiele resigns.
Adodo insisted that Emefiele cannot continue to run an important institution like the CBN from overseas. “And since he has not formally sought an asylum, which the NYCN will gladly support him if it has merits, the only other reason that must have kept him abroad or away from the office for so long must be ill-health, except he wishes to admit that he is running from justice”, Adodo stated. Adodo observed that the CBN governor is in breach of Section 11 (2) (a & c) of the CBN Act, and should cease to be in office.
According to him, “the Section states that: “The Governor, Deputy Governor or Director shall cease to hold office in the bank if he: (a)becomes of unsound mind or owing to ill-health, is incapable of carrying out his duties; (c)is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this Act”. “Either way, both conditions apply in your instant case and you should be honourable, even if it is for once.
The youths, therefore demanded that “Emefiele should begin the process of his resignation as stated under the CBN Act 2007, or face a Nationwide Youth Mass Action, adding that “for someone who has aspired for the office of the President of Nigeria, you should cease to continue to bring shame to yourself and the exalted office of CBN Governor.” There was tight security in and around the CBN headquarters over the action.