Angry Buhari Feels Embarrassed By Emefiele, May Sack CBN Gov Over Presidential Ambition
Indications have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari is angry and feels embarrassed by the audacious decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor to engage in partisan politics to the extent of seeking to contest the presidency in 2023.
A competent presidency source told THE WHISTLER that by choosing to become partisan, Emefiele did not only show disregard for provisions of the Act establishing the CBN but depicted the Buhari administration as unruly.
The source noted that the CBN was established as “an independent body”, adding that the independence of the institution becomes questionable when its officers become partisan or join political parties.
Emefiele, a Nigerian economist who has been heading Nigeria’s Central Bank since 2014, confirmed the longstanding speculations about his presidential bid when he approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, to seek the determination of his right to participate in the 2023 presidential election.
The CBN governor had joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) in the suit filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome SAN.
He was believed to be planning to contest the 2023 presidency on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
But Emefiele was reported to have given up his presidential bid after meeting with President Buhari on Thursday at the State House, Abuja.
THE WHISTLER understands that his withdrawal from the race came after President Buhari heavily reprimanded him for what was described as “an embarrassing outing of unimaginable proportion”.
Part of the embarrassment Emefiele’s political bid was said to have caused Buhari was the distrust that his ambition created, prompting INEC to be considering moving sensitive 2023 election materials out of the CBN over the CBN governor’s new public image as a politician.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had told journalists at a briefing on Thursday: “…we have already started talking about what alternatives are available to us in case we need to change the arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials.”
According to the source, Emefiele’s alleged ‘procurement of a judgement’ from a Delta State High Court in favour of his presidential bid has portrayed him as someone who is desperate for power.
“He (Emefiele) was scolded by the president during his meeting with him yesterday,” the presidency source said, adding “Because of his compromised stance, INEC is considering alternative storage options for sensitive materials.”
After the ‘scolding session’, the source said Emefiele left the meeting looking startled as the positive signals he thought he was getting about the possibility of Buhari supporting his ambition, turned out to be false.
“There is no news now, but there will be news,” a surprised Emefiele told State House correspondents after the meeting, stressing “You heard me, I said there is no news but there will be news”.