Some Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have cautioned all anti-Godwin Emefiele groups to stop blackmailing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor over his purported moves to join the presidential race ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Some reports have claimed that the apex bank’s boss had earmarked N500bn to sponsor his presidential ambition, asking him to tender his resignation.
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But in a statement, the coalition condemned the claim, adding that the CBN governor had not declared an intention to contest for any position.
This was contained in a statement signed by Executive Director and South-South Coordinator, African Leadership Strategy and Transparency Development Initiative, Nelson Ossaieze; South West Coordinator and Coordinator, Centre for Joint Action Against Underdevelopment and Poverty in Africa, Olumide Kingsley Egbeola; Focal Person and South-East Coordinator, Advocacy for Good Governance; North West Coordinator, Network for Advancement of Democracy in Africa; North East Coordinator, Arewa Peace, Development and Democratic Front, Mallam Mohammed Ali; North Central Coordinator, Zero Tolerance and Anti-Corruption Network, Hajia Binta Ibrahim; Secretary-General, Coalition of Civil Society Groups, Abubakar Ibrahim; and President, Coalition of Civil Society Groups, Bassey Etuk Williams.
According to the statement, the CBN Governor has introduced various intervention programmes to boost the productive base of the economy and position it to create wealth that would in turn diversify the income base of government.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of Coalition of Civil Civil Society Groups has been drawn to another round of campaign of calumny against the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the controversial online Blog…”, alleging that Mr Emefiele had allocated about N500 billion for his presidential ambition, leveraging his edge as the manager of the country’s most critical financial institution.
“The online news medium’s latest report against Mr Emefiele is obviously fake and non-existent.
“It is only in their imagination and its sponsors, that one individual would have purchased three aircraft for a political campaign and kept a whooping N500 billion for the same purpose.
“If it wasn’t for the timing, this puerile concoction masquerading as a news report would have passed for mere comic relief, but knowing the dangers of fake news to social cohesion there is a need to set the records straight as a responsible arbiter between government and the governed.
“The platform that published this assemblage of downright falsehood, which could only have been the product of a fertile imagination, has a well-documented history of making such publications capable of demeaning the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its institutions.”
The statement warned that “The coalition will no longer tolerate any attempt to put the unity of Nigeria at risk, through the potent instrumentality of fake news and malicious reports.
“We will henceforth not hesitate to name names behind these falsehoods being spread in the public space for personal gain.
“It is an indisputable fact that the 2023 elections have not even commenced and we urge politicians to take the backseat and allow the government of the day to finish their term in office and wait until the ban on campaigns is lifted before speculating on who is contesting for what and making statements capable of heating the polity further.”
The coalition in the statement also urged Nigerians to disregard the campaign of calumny against the CBN governor as all allegations were baseless and unfounded.