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CBN Governor, EMEFIELE Set To Join Presidential Race

Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor wants to be the next President of Nigeria. And he is dead serious about it. Although like so many others, he has not come out to declare that he is running, a lot of work is going on underground coordinated by many CEOs and companies who have rallied around this Delta born banker. The media too is awash with positive stories meant to polish his image to present him as the best candidate for the job.

For some months now, speculations have been strong that Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is interested in running for president in 2023. Many of his loyalists and his friends in the corporate space have spent hundreds of millions of naira on a proxy campaign for him. They flooded everywhere with campaign billboards and on social media and recently commissioned thousands of branded vehicles, emblazoned with Emefiele’s face boldly pasted on them.

For those who also took notice at the March 26 convention, Emefiele’s supporters stormed the national convention of the ruling APC, beating the drum for his presidential ambition, while President Muhammadu Buhari looked on seemingly approvingly.

While some people believed it is unethical for a sitting governor to openly display a politically-driven campaign banner while he’s still active in the office, some other people believe that his office does not in any way deprive him of the constitutional right to contest for an election. A source from the APC added that it is not stated anywhere that he must not contest for any position of political space if he’s the governor.

“The least he can be told when the campaign starts proper is for him to resign. And from the look of things, he’s not the only one who is currently in President Buhari’s cabinet and eyeing the Presidential seat. “we have a handful of them, and the CBN governor cannot be treated differently.”, he said.

Although Emefiele has not formally declared to run for president in 2023, there are indications that he is interested in the cause and even in silence, he is testing the waters: Emefiele has also been fingered to have been on the list of the possible preference of President Buhari, who had said his preferred candidate may be assassinated of he unveiled his name.

The CBN governor has appeared in almost all the opinion polls on social media tagging along with the likes of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Vice President Osinbajo, Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, all of whom have made their intentions known. Despite his silence about his ambition, social media has been speaking loudly for over a couple of months. His body language and style of response at any given time he’s faced with the question of interest, also doesn’t disapprove the indication of his interest.

He stated two months ago that it’s the prerogative of President Buhari to plan his succession”, adding: “And given that it’s God that anoints leaders, I will leave my fate firmly in the hands of God.

He also stated after the APC convention that his focus at this time is a robust monetary policy and fighting inflation; this statement, just like the first, is also not a categorical denial.

One of the strong groups that are pushing for Emefiele’s presidential cause is the Emefiele Solidarity Vanguard (ESV). The group has vowed to continue with the campaign for the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) until he accepts or rejects to contest the 2023 presidential election.

The National Coordinator of the group, Daniel Enyi, who is a strong social media influencer said that ESV has thousands of posters, T-shirts, and billboards and has branded some individual cars in solidarity with the CBN Governor, saying this has nothing to do with the CBN Governor as a person. The group also revealed that it had decided to brand vehicles in support of Emefiele in a bid to persuade him to participate in the 2023 presidential election.

Northern Youths under the aegis of Unified Northern Forum for Godwin Emefiele for the 2023 presidency, also called on the CBN Governor to contest the 2023 presidency being a core professional and bureaucrat because the politicians and former military leaders have failed Nigeria. The group is also prominent on Facebook and Twitter.

The Convener of the group, Mr Mohammed Salie Danlami said that a professional to the core like a CBN governor would make the country better and greater and frontally tackle the current challenges without any political bias.

Godwin Emefiele has been serving as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since June 4, 2014.

Emefiele attended Ansar Udin Primary School and Maryland Comprehensive Secondary both in Lagos, before proceeding to the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) for his tertiary education. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance, finishing as one of the top students in his class, in 1984. Soon after his National Youth Service, Godwin Emefiele returned to UNN for a Master's Degree in Finance, which he obtained in 1986. He is also an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University (2004) and Wharton School of Business (2005).

 The Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

 During his first term as CBN Governor, he supervised an interventionist currency policy at the behest of the presidency, propping up the Nigerian Naira by pumping billions of dollars into the foreign exchange market. He also introduced a multiple exchange rate regime to try to mask pressure on the Naira and avoid a series of devaluations.

In 2019, Nigeria’s Senate approved a second five-year term for Emefiele. This is the first time that anyone will serve a second term since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. Senator Bukola Saraki read President Buhari’s letter on Thursday, May 9, 2019. He was screened on Wednesday and his confirmation came on Thursday, May 16, 2023.

Once he declares officially chances are that he will have to resign before the end of his tenure.

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