Contrary to what Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank Governor would want people to think, that he is on the right path with his presidential ambition and has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari, new information has revealed that the reverse is the case.
Recall that The Street Journal had reported that Emefiele told Nigerians off following the outrage that greeted his interest to become president.
He was quoted as saying “Let them (Nigerians/international community) have heart attacks. It’s good to have a heart attack. I am having fun.”
That statement was not only an attempt to put up a bold face that all was well, it reeks of blatant disrespect to the sensitivities of Nigerians and many others who probably held him, prior to his presidential ambition while still in office, in high esteem.
For a man who holds a sensitive and a supposedly apolitical position, Emefiele’s utterance and interest in taking over from Buhari while still in office speaks volumes about his character.
Besides, his abysmal failure at revamping the economy as CBN governor which is glaring for all to see, his boldness to attempt to be president without resigning from his position while insulting Nigerians, leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
According to an impeccable source, Emefele had booked an appointment to see Buhari in order to explain to him, his own side of the story about the purchase of the N100m presidential nomination and expression of interest form by some faceless farmers which he claimed he did not approve of.
He had earlier claimed not have knowledge of the purchase of some campaign vehicles branded with his photograph adorning traditional outfits of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Emefiele had told a source who sought anonymity that the vehicles should not be deployed yet because nothing has been cast in stone as far as his running or otherwise is concerned but publicly denied knowledge of the vehicles.
The branded vehicles
So one wonders, if he claimed ignorance of the N100m presidential form and and the vehicles, why did he not distance himself from the campaign posters that flooded Eagle Square, venue of the All Progressives Congress flooded Eagle Square, during the party’s national convention in Abuja on March 26, publicising him as a presidential aspirant.
And if indeed he has no interest in taking over from Buhari, why did he quickly seek the counsel of Mike Ozekhome, a constitutional lawyer on what the constitution says as it concerns his presidential ambition while still retaining his position as the CBN governor?
But Emefiele blinded by his ambition attempted to seek a court ruling to run for president as CBN governor.
He dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and three others before a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking enforcement of his right to contest the 2023 presidential election without resigning from his current position.
Emefiele through Ozekhome, told the court that Section 84 ((12) of the Electoral Act as amended, 2022 does not affect him, being a public servant and not a political appointee.
He asked the court to invoke section 318 of the 1999 Constitution to bar the defendants from asking him to vacate office until 30 days before the February 2023 Presidential election.
Emefiele had expressed apprehension that sale and submission of the presidential nomination form would expire on Wednesday and that unless the INEC and AGF are ordered to maintain status ante bellum as at May 5 when he filed the suit, he would be made to vacate office before his form would be accepted by the appropriate authority.
Arguing an exparte motion filed due to the urgency of the matter, Ozekhome said his client is the current CBN governor and he is interested in running for the office of the president of the country in the election scheduled for February next year.
Ozekhome argued that the section of the Electoral Act has been voided by a Federal High Court in Umuahia and that the matter is on appeal at the moment. He also prayed the court for an order of interim injunction stopping further action on the matter.
Unfortunately, his request order was turned down in a brief ruling by Justice Ahmed Ramat.
Emefiele seeing the obvious futility of his quest told Buhari that he regretted the embarrassment the announcement of the purchase of the form would have caused him and pleaded with the president to give him the opportunity to continue his work as the central bank governor.
He promised to double his effort to make his (Buhari) administration successful and hand over to the next democratically elected President.
Buhari who was visibly angry ordered him to go back to his office, move his things out of the office and tender his resignation within 72 hrs.
After his departure, the President through his spokesperson, Garba Shehu released a press statement categorically stating that ‘NO MINISTER or head of agency CAN SAY I WAS ONLY JOKING I DON’T WANT TO BE PRESIDENT AGAIN, YOU MUST GO!’
Shehu was responding to questions about a certain minster who said he would only resign after consulting with members of his constituents.
Unfortunately, for Emefiele and other ministers who may have had a rethink about their presidential bid, the die is already cast as it is already too late for anyone to have a change of mind after Buhari’s order to anyone in his administration nursing a political ambition to resign with immediate effect.
According to Shehu, Buhari will be biding them farewell today and those who have purchased the N100m form will not have their money returned to them.