The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, who is preparing for the 2023 presidential race has brought in three aircraft for his campaign, SaharaReporters can authoritatively report.
SaharaReporters learnt that Emefiele had also been asked by the cabal in the Muhammadu Buhari presidency supporting his infamous ambition to tender his resignation and focus on his presidential campaign.
Emefiele has allocated about N500 billion for his presidential ambition, leveraging his edge as the manager of the country’s most critical financial institution, SaharaReporters also learnt on Wednesday.
“Emefiele has brought in three airplanes for his campaign. He was asked to resign. He has allocated about N500 billion for his campaign,” a top source revealed on Wednesday.
SaharaReporters had on February 13 reported that there was division in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the presidential ambitions of some of its prominent members, which is capable of tearing the ruling party apart.
SaharaReporters had exclusively learnt that a cabal led by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami was strongly behind the push for Emefiele to succeed Buhari, ahead of other strong contenders in the party.
Another prominent member of the cabal is media entrepreneur, Nduka Obaigbena.
Obaigbena is the founding Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of the THISDAY Media Group and ARISE News Channel.
A top source in the party had told SaharaReporters that the “APC is torn between (Vice-President Yemi) Osinbajo, (Bola) Tinubu and Emefiele’s people, each pushing their own candidate and agenda.”
Recently, Emefiele’s supporters, mainly youths, spotted white T-Shirts with the inscription MEFFY 2023 at an occasion held in Lagos to draft him into the race.
Convener of the group, Wale Fapohunda, had told the gathering that since Emefiele’s appointment as CBN Governor, he had spent his energy building a resilient financial system that can serve the development needs of the economy, ignoring the glaring fact that Nigeria’s economy had dipped to its worst state ever during Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor.
However, SaharaReporters had also learnt that Emefiele’s declaration did not start at the event.
Indeed, it started with the recent FCT mega rice pyramid, an initiative under the RIFAN/CBN anchor borrowers’ programme, but used to sell the candidacy of the CBN governor.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, unveiled the rice pyramid in Abuja, in the presence of some governors and other dignitaries.
“The rice pyramid was conspicuously the first open declaration,” a source in the Presidency had told SaharaReporters.
“The cabal led by AGF, Malami told Buhari they’ve settled for a technocrat. This came after rejecting the President of African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, and Obaigbena is spearheading this,” the source had added.
Obaigbena, it was also learnt, had additional motivation to throw its weight behind Emefiele considering the financial support AriseTV has been getting from the CBN.
“CBN has been funding AriseTV and forcing banks and money transaction platforms to advertise on the TV. That was the reason why Obaigbena said recently that Nigeria’s president would not come from those who are declaring,” one of the sources said.
Obaigbena in October 2021 also said nobody could predict what would happen in 2023 regarding who would become Nigeria’s President.
SaharaReporters gathered from one of the sources that Isa Funtua’s son, Abubakar, is “part of the crew working on Emefiele’s campaign”.
“You know, they bought 9mobile,” the source added.
Isa Funtua was a close ally of President Buhari, who served as a minister in the Second Republic.
This had prompted former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in January 2019, to lambast the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for “failing to investigate how Alhaji Isa Funtua, a close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, who acquired Keystone Bank and 9Mobile (formerly Etisalat).”
SaharaReporters had on February 14 reported that there were plans by Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to use funds from the apex bank to fund his presidential ambition.
According to sources, Emefiele's presidential ambition will be funded from the CBN intervention funds; Bank of Agriculture; Nirsal Microfinance Bank among others.
SaharaReporters had learnt that at least $20 million (N8.3billion) had been released for the campaign so far.