The founding state chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have called on the leadership of the ruling party to adopt the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, as its 2023 presidential candidate.
This was contained in a statement issued by the party’s former guards through one of them, Musa Abu, in Kaduna on Saturday.
As the former chairmen argued, the ongoing politicking and wranglings among presidential candidates jostling for the party’s ticket were unhealthy for the growth of the party.
They said, “We have keenly observed all the electioneering that has been going on in our great party ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.
“We have seen how bigwigs and moneybags in their tens have been jostling for the only ticket available in our party. We are of the opinion that this unwieldy number of aspirants is not good enough for our party and its future.”
According to the statement, they urged the party’s leadership to give Emefiele the support to raise the APC’s presidential flag if the party was serious about winning the 2023 presidential election.
They also urged the APC leadership to be quick in making the choice of Emefiele in the party’s interest.
“In searching for a way out in a manner that will be rancour-free and ensure electoral victory for us in 2023, we have come to the conclusion that our party should draft the CBN Governor into the race and give him all the institutional support to lead APC to the 2023 contest.
“It is very clear that Emefiele’s candidacy is the best for our party because it will, among other things, not only lead us to victory, his emergence as the next President will also see his administration continuing, consolidating and expanding the legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Our leaders must make this important choice quickly in the interest of the party, our nation and, indeed, all its citizens,” they stated.
Although Emefiele has not openly declared an interest in the election, he is being linked to the APC top candidature.
The CBN governor’s campaign posters were prominently displayed at the Eagle Square in Abuja, venue of the national convention of the APC, on March 26.
Besides the presence of his posters and banners at the convention, inscriptions on the campaign materials suggested that the CBN governor was a member of the APC.
Concerns have been raised over the independence of the CBN when the head of the institution is being strongly linked to the country’s ruling party.
Section 9 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act stipulated that ‘the governor and the deputy governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the bank, and while holding office, shall not engage in any full or part-time employment or vocation, whether remunerated or not.’
The CBN, however, denied any presidential involvement of Emefiele when it was contacted by NewsNGR over the matter on March 28.
“He is the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. I am not aware of all these things you are saying,” the spokesman of the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, said in response to enquiries by NewsNGR in a phone interview.