‘Divine intervention’: Emefiele speaks on rumoured presidential ambition
The governor of Nigeria’s central bank Godwin Emefiele Saturday said he has not decided to join the growing list of those interested in succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, a day after a group of farmers bought the All Progressives Congress’s expression of interest and nomination forms for presidential primary for him.
“This is a serious decision that requires God’s Divine intervention: in the next few days The Almighty will so direct,” Emefiele tweeted on Saturday.
Rumours that Emefiele is willing to join partisan politics have been making the rounds for months. Although not known to be a member of the ruling APC, Emefiele’s campaign posters were ubiquitous at the venue of the ruling party’s national convention in March.
The rumours were further enlivened after a video showing several cars branded with ‘Emefiele for President’ went viral on social media.
The CBN governor first publicly addressed the rumours on March 28 without debunking or confirming them. His tweets on Saturday also did little to dispel those rumours.
“I have not come to that decision,” Emefiele said on Twitter on Saturday, acknowledging the “sacrifices” of the farmers that bought him the forms that cost N100 million.
The CBN governor insisted he would not need proxies to buy him the forms if he decides to join the race.
“However, Should I answer their calls and decide to seek presidential nomination, I will use my own hard earned savings from over 35 years of banking leadership to buy my own Nomination Forms, without proxies in an open and transparent manner in full compliance with the laws and Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
The purchase of the form by the farmers for the CBN governor has drawn a litany of criticisms, with many calling on President Buhari to sack him.
Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu said on Friday evening that Emefiele joining partisan politics when he is still the CBN governor is an “illegal” move that puts Nigeria’s economy at risk.
He said the CBN governor must resign if he is willing to participate in the presidential primary holding at the end of May or be sacked by the president.
“The combined effect of the Public Service Rules, CBN Act and the 1999 Constitution, as amended, exposes not only the oddity inherent in this brash exercise of presumed right to associate,” Akeredolu said. “It also confirms the illegality of the act should he proceed to submit the forms while occupying the seat as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“We admonish Mr Emefiele to leave the office, immediately, for him to pursue his interest. He cannot combine partisan politics with the very delicate assignment of his office.
“Should he refuse to quit, it becomes incumbent on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to remove him forthwith.”