2023: Emefiele Rumoured Presidential Ambition Dead On Arrival As APC Leaders Reject His Candidacy

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Godwin Emefiele for president
Godwin Emefiele for president
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The alleged presidential ambition of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, governor of Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), may have ended even before it began, as influential leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have rejected his muted candidacy, 9news Nigeria gathered.

Though largely in the realm of speculations, 9news Nigeria learnt that the CBN governor’s alleged power bid, had become hot topic in Nigeria’s political and social media spaces, with many piqued by the audacity of a man whose performance as the helmsman of the apex bank, in their views, has been at best underwhelming, wanting the highest office in the land.

Appointed CBN governor by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2014, Emefiele will most likely be leaving office at the end of his second tenure with inflation in the north of 15 percent, after inheriting same at 8.05%.

The Naira under his watch, appear destined to touch N600 to the dollar at the open market – with the local currency presently exchanging at around N585 to the dollar – from about N190 when he took charge, even as unemployment has shot up to an outrageous 33 percent from less than 5 percent.

And although the Delta State-born career banker would point to the sharp drop in oil prices, which coincided with his taking over at the apex bank, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the country in early 2020 with devastating consequences for the economy, as reasons for the evidently poor record, and a justification for the two recessions recorded under his watch, many neutrals insist that he’s been out of depth in his calling.

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Added to the above, the governor’s tough stance on digital currency trade in the country – he had slammed a ban on crypto trading and routinely block bank accounts of suspected traders – what had become a leeway of sorts for thousands of deprived young Nigerians, have only served to win him the scorn of the youth population.

Regardless, the CBN governor had one thing going for him. His untrammelled loyalty to Buhari, a president who is known to value loyalty far more than capacity, and his alleged willingness to do the bidding of the proverbial cabalists in Aso Rock, meant that he could indeed afford to dream of power, and there were strong indications that he was truly Buhari’s choice for president.

To this effect, some key officials in the presidency were said to have been making a spirited effort to draft him into the 2023 presidential race, the idea, in their calculation, according to sources, being that he is unlikely to distort the structure of north’s dominance set up by the incumbent, even as he would somewhat address the raging agitation for a president of Igbo extraction, even if many would argue against his Igbo credential, or make the point of him not being from the Southeast.

The probability of him being considered on the grounds, had also led to the emergence of sundry support groups currently drumming support for him, urging him to declare his intention to run.

On Saturday, the CBN governor’s branded campaign vehicles surfaced on social media, apparently the handiwork of his support groups.

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Meanwhile, the CBN governor, while not admitting to being interested in the presidential race, has not dismissed it either, what he may have ordinarily wasted little time in doing, especially given that he is still the governor of the Central Bank.

However, while it seemed at some point as though Emefiele could potentially be the man to beat in 2023, given the calibre of people said to be backing him within the corridors of power – which according to sources, is why he has been reluctant to dismiss the rumour. 9news Nigeria, however, gathered that key members of the APC, particularly state governors who have become very influential in the party have shut down the move to field him in 2023.

A top party source who confided in our correspondent admitted that Buhari indeed wanted the CBN governor as his potential successor, but he said opposition within the party has caused the president to back down.

“I can tell you that the governors have succeeded. They have managed to shut down the prospect of Emefiele’s candidacy and Buhari has agreed with them,” the party source who craved anonymity said.

“Their point is that he is not a member of the party and cannot be chosen ahead of those who have been committing their time and resources to grow the party.”

Emefiele’s muted aspiration had caused division between the said Aso Rock power brokers backing him and the party leaders, who argue that he is not a party man and could not be trusted.

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The party leaders, particularly the governors, 9news Nigeria learnt, have succeeded in persuading President Buhari against the choice of the CBN governor.

Meanwhile, the cabal is said to have switched support to Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation whose declaration document leaked last week, on the orders of the president.

Amaechi – who was on February 5, turbaned as Dan Amanar Daura (trusted son of Daura), Buhari’s home town, by the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Farouk Umar Farouk, was a major financier of Buhari’s campaign in 2015 and both men have remained close ever since.

Though he is yet to officially declare his intention to run for president, feelers suggest that all is already set for his declaration and it could happen any time soon.

9news Nigeria

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