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Buhari: Why I didn’t sack Emefiele over his purported presidential ambition

President Muhammadu Buhari and Godwin Emefiele President Muhammadu Buhari and Godwin Emefiele

Former President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why he did not sack Godwin Emefiele, the ex-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), because of his purported presidential ambition in 2023.

Buhari said there was no evidence that the former CBN governor wanted to pursue any presidential ambition.

BACKGROUND

In May 2022, three support groups purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for Emefiele.

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The expression of interest was sold for N30 million while the nomination was N70 million.

But Emefiele denied having a connection to the groups, saying he would purchase the form himself if he decided to contest.

His interest — even though undecided at the time — sparked criticism, with several persons calling for his resignation.

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The former CBN governor later filed a case at the federal high court in Abuja, asking for a ruling to allow him to contest the 2023 presidential election.

But the court stayed action on Emefiele’s request to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) at the time, from stopping him in the pursuit of his presidential bid.

Some days later, the former CBN governor withdrew the suit.

However, the presidential form purchased on his behalf was not submitted at the expiration of the deadline set for submission by the APC.

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HE DIDN’T TELL ANYBODY HE WAS CONTESTING’

Buhari said Emefiele did not tell anyone he was contesting for the 2023 presidency.

According to Punch, Buhari spoke in a book “Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015 – 2023)”, which was written by Femi Adesina, his ex-spokesperson.

The former president said it would be “unfair” to depend on “hearsay” to sack Emefiele due to his presidential bid.

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“When he (Emefiele) was linked with the campaign for the 2023 presidency, I did not ask him, because he told nobody he was getting involved. Otherwise, I would have removed him and told the nation why,” Buhari said.

“If you punish a man unjustly, it could dog his footsteps throughout life, so if you would punish, you must have evidence and you should know that yourself wouldn’t be there forever. You would leave one day.

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“I’m very conscious about the morale of people who serve with me. I also expect whoever succeeds me to be fair to me. I have family, friends, who will feel it. I’m very conscious of fairness.”

 

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