There is apprehension in the All Progressives Congress over the decision of president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, to contest the 2023 presidential poll under the party’s platform.
LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that some big wigs of the governing party consider Adesina’s bid to join the army of presidential aspirants as an upstage considering his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is even so as Adesina who is currently serving his second term as AfDB president met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa last week. Confirming the development yesterday, a source close to the AfDB president, said some persons have been pushing for him to join the race at the highest level, assuring that he is ready to make the sacrifice for the sake of Nigeria.
“They have been pushing for him at the highest levels and they have been on this for the past six months. Yes, he is ready to make the sacrifice for the sake of our country,” stated. A coalition of 28 groups yesterday purchased the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the APC at N100 million for the former minister of Agriculture under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The groups comprising Nigerians in Diaspora One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, Youth Arise Movement, women groups, farmers, people with disabilities and other civil society organizations, were said to have contributed the N100m fee to buy the forms for the AfDB president.
Led by the head of One Nigeria Group, Mohammed Saleh, the groups made the payment and collected the acknowledgement slip for Adesina at the International Conference Center where the APC is currently selling the forms. Also a group known as Diaspora Support Group of North America and Europe had recently asked Adesina to join the 2023 presidential race.
In a statement signed by Tony Bello, chairman of Shine Bridge Global Inc, Chesapeake-Virginia, USA, noted that an Adesina presidency will usher in a robust economic resurgence that could put an end to children drowning in the high seas of Africa and Europe in their quest for a better life.
The group implored g Nigerians to join in encouraging Adesina to join the 2023 presidential race with the confidence to emerge as Nigeria’s President in 2023.
It said it is the time for the electorates to take on the civic responsibility of calling on more qualified Nigerians besides the usual career politicians to come and run for office. It warned that should Nigerians fail to search for the best candidates now, the hope and faith for a better Nigeria will have to wait for another four years or even longer.
The statement noted: “We, the Diaspora Support Group of North America and Europe, hereby beckon to all well-meaning Nigerians and co-patriots, at home and abroad, to join us in drafting Dr Adesina into the Nigerian 2023 presidential race. “By the way he has endeared himself to the generality of Nigerians across the board, we would have preferred having him run as an independent candidate if such was possible. It is therefore necessary that he contests under any of the two major Nigerian political parties, the APC or the PDP.”
Emefiele to decide presidential run in ‘a few days’
Meanwhile, the Central Bank Governor (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has said he has not decided to contest the 2023 presidential election under any party. In a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle yesterday, Emefiele appreciated the farmers groups for the confidence in him to be the best man for the job ahead the general elections. The CBN Boss said if he is interested, he will buy the forms with his personal money and not rely on anybody or group to purchase the presidential forms for him.
Three groups paid N100 million to pick the forms on behalf of the CBN governor yesterday. The groups, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Friends of Emefiele and Emefiele Support Group, said Emefiele was the only responsible and responsive person to succeed President Buhari at the 2023 general election.
But Emefiele said: “I am humbled by the growing interest of those asking that I run for the Office of President in the 2023 general elections: I have not come to that decision. I note and salute the sacrifices of those farmers and patriots going as far as raising personal funds and offering me Presidential Nomination Forms: I thank them most profusely.
“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.
“And should I not run for elected office, I will continue to serve and sacrifice for the good people of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is a serious decision that requires God’s Divine intervention: in the next few days The Almighty will so direct,” he stated.
He Should Formally Write To Tell APC He’s Not Interested – PDP
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday asked the CBN governor to formally write to the APC distancing himself from the presidential forms bought for him by his supporters. PDP national publicity secretary, Hon Debo Ologunagba, said it was not enough for the CBN governor to reject the forms on social media.
Ologunagba who described Emefiele’s denial of having interest in the presidential race as an afterthought, called for his arrest and prosecution over alleged abuse of office and financial impropriety.
The call is coming on the heel of report that some groups bought Emefiele the APC presidential expression of interest and nomination form to contest the 2023 election. But Emefiele in a series of tweets yesterday said he has not taken a stance on the 2023 Presidency. He thanked those who bought the forms for him, saying if he decides to contest, he would use his personal resources to procure the forms.
Addressing newsmen on Saturday in Abuja, the PDP spokesman, Hon. Debo Ologunagba said, “His denial is an afterthought. In any case, it is not enough to come on Twitter to deny the claims. He should formally write to the APC to distance himself from the issue. “Our party stands with Nigerians in demanding the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of Mr. Emefiele by security and anti-graft agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged financial malfeasance and abuse of office in the CBN under his watch.
“As Nigerians we are determined to confront this evil. We wish Mr. Emefiele well in his new found but ill-fated political vocation but we demand that he must be brought to account for the activities that he undertook, supervised and superintended over the years that he has been at the helm of affairs at the CBN and for which our economy is in comatose.”
The PDP called on all Nigerians; the Civil Society, Students, Organized Labour, the Media and all lovers of good governance to rise up as the party takes drastic actions in leading the charge to defend the integrity of the CBN, Rule of Law and ensure that those who brought the economy to its knees face the wrath of the law.
The party said that Emefiele’s involvement in politics without resigning as CBN Governor amounts to gross misconduct in contravention of Section 11 2 (2)(c) of the CBN Act. Now that Mr. Emefiele has joined politics and reportedly obtained the N100 million Presidential aspirant form from the APC, he cannot continue to resume at the CBN which is the commonwealth of our nation,” the party said.
The PDP warned that his continued as CBN Governor is a danger to the reputation of the CBN, adding that it would destroy investor’s confidence. “By this, Mr. Emefiele has become a clear and present danger to the health, integrity and reputation of the CBN and our nation’s financial sector. His continued stay as CBN Governor will further destroy investors’ confidence in the integrity of our nation’s financial regulatory Institution.
“Mr. Emefiele’s involvement in partisan politics while still holding office as CBN Governor underpins the impunity, lawlessness and recklessness of the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration. It further confirms that the CBN under Emefiele has all along been the finance department of the APC.”
He Must Resign, Tambuwal, Ezekwesili Insist
Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to resign his position to save the Nigerian economy. Tambuwal made the call yesterday in Jalingo where he went to canvass for delegates votes ahead of the PDP presidential primary election.
He said the president must asked fast to save the country since the CBN governor had chosen to contest for the coming presidential primary. “Even before now, our economy had been in shambles, Mr. President as matter of fact should call on the CBN Governor to resign now, we cannot be playing with our nation’s economy, let Godwin Emefiele resign and join us in politics if he wants to contest. If he wants to run, he should leave our CBN alone, such decision is very important, the decision can affect our economy in less than four hours. Tambuwal while addressing the party members asked the PDP in the state to consider a presidential candidate that can win the coming presidential race at the general polls.
“The inability to be just, fair and equitable made the present administration to have failed woefully, Nigeria has never been divided like now, I am the representative of the kind of leadership Nigeria needs, I am in the middle age, I am close to the young and also close to the old. Nigeria needs a leader that knows the dynamics of world affairs, we can win if we remain together, if we truly want to win the election we must produce a leader that has networks across the nation”, he stated.
Also, former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele to resign and stop embarrassing the country. In a series of tweets oyesterday, Ezekwesili asked the CBN governor to resign and stop destroying the country’s monetary policy reputation.
She tweeted: “I just read your waffling neither-here-nor-there tweet reacting to news of your payment of N100M for the APC Nomination form for 2023 Presidential election. Seems you did not read what the APC Spokesperson said to @Bloomberg . Resign. Stop embarrassing the country. Stop.
“The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria @cenbank must now immediately tender his resignation to stop further destroying whatever little remains of the country’s monetary policy reputation. Mr Emefele should leave immediately-tonight-to pursue his ill-fated political career.
“@GodwinIEmefiele This is for you. Time to end your low-grade hide and seek game that dangerously toys with the monetary authority of this country and its people. Resign. It is legitimate aspiration to seek to be President of Nigeria but resign from @cenbank to go pursue it.”