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Buhari attributes accusation of partisanship against Emefiele to CBN’s adoption of unorthodox monetary policy

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday defended the role played by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele’s pre-party presidential primary election, saying that the regulator’s involvement in partisan politics was misconstrued by the general public.

In an interview with the global news agency, Bloomberg, President Buhari also defended the CBN’s unorthodox monetary policy, noting that “the orthodoxy has proved wrong time and again.”

He attributed the allegations of partisanship against the regulatory bank chief to his adoption of unorthodox monetary policy measures to tackle economic issues in the country.

“But there is a subtext to the accusations. Because the governor follows a model outside of the economic orthodoxy, he is labelled political. But the orthodoxy has proved wrong time and again,” Buhari further said.

He, however, noted that though he appointed the CBN governor, subject to the confirmation by the senate, the regulatory bank board of directors has the ultimate decision on the conduct of the governor.

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“The CBN governor is appointed by the President. But this appointment is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate. 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 responded to Bloomberg.

“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.”

A group of farmers had decided to procure the nomination and expression of interest form for the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for Emefiele, who quickly said he has not made up his mind to contest the election.

His actions were, however, met with immediate backlash from politicians and civil society alike, who questioned the Central Bank’s independence in light of his ambitions.

Subsequently, Emefiele filed a lawsuit at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court seeking clarification as to whether or not he could remain in office while running for president, saying he would suffer “irreparable damage” if he was not allowed to engage in partisan politics.
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