The Centre for Integrity and Good Governance (CIG) has insisted on the adoption of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele as the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 elections.
The Centre in a press statement issued on Sunday by its Convener, Mr. Waheed Aderibigbe, and Co-convener, Mr. Obinna Ukariaku, congratulated Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu on his emergence through consensus as to the National Chairman of the APC.
It urged Adamu and the APC leadership to chart a new path in the recruitment process of the party’s flag bearer in the 2023 Presidential election by overlooking those it called “professional politicians”, all of whom have failed the nation in the past.
The statement reads in part: “We salute the maturity and wisdom exhibited by the APC in electing Abdullahi Adamu as its Chairman by consensus on the advice of President Muhammadu Buhari.
While we wholeheartedly congratulate the new Chairman on his election, we urge the APC to exhibit the same wisdom and maturity during the forthcoming Presidential primary.
“We have carefully studied the list of contenders for the party’s Presidential ticket and we have noticed a consistent trend: they are all career politicians or persons who had in the last seven years or more been directly involved in the politics and governance of the country.
Without prejudice to the competency, capacity, and right of these individuals to aspire to lead the nation, we wish to state in very clear terms that Nigeria needs a break from these persons.
Nigeria’s Presidency needs a breath of fresh air; it needs the impact and influence of a successful professional, technocrat, or businessperson whose career path is a kaleidoscope of success, innovation, vision, and ideas capable of herding the nation’s socio-economic ship into the shores of prosperity.
“It is on this note that we are proposing the adoption of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the current Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). We are aware that no one can pick or be given the ticket of a political party unless such a person is a member of that party. In the case of Emefiele who has not hidden his apolitical disposition, our Centre has concluded arrangements to compel him to join a political party, particularly, the ruling APC.
“Nigeria, as we know her today, requires the services of a professional, a seasoned technocrat, not a career politician. Many advanced economies have had the fortune of having former professionals as their leaders. We recall that Emmanuel Macron of France was a former staff of the French Finance Ministry before he stepped into his country’s political space.
Ditto for Mark Rutte of The Netherlands who made a successful working career at Unilever before fate thrust him into politics. We have not forgotten the story of Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, who was an accomplished journalist and later Editor of The Spectator magazine before he took a dive into politics.
“Emefiele, an accomplished banker and finance guru, would be walking the path of these great world leaders who distinguished themselves in their chosen professions before they were drafted into politics where their expertise and skills in their previous stations have helped to transform the economies of their countries.
Nigeria at this time needs transformational and pragmatic leadership and only Emefiele among those angling for the job of President can offer such leadership.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s major heart’s cry was a sustainable diversification of the nation’s economy. Among the various actors in the Buhari government, only Emefiele has been able to translate this dream into reality in agriculture. Emefiele remains the Best CBN Governor in the promotion and sustenance of economic diversification.
“Through the multi-sectoral interventions by CBN under Emefiele’s watch, Nigeria has improved her non-oil export, increased local production and yield in agriculture, empowered young Nigerians to play active roles in the agro-business value chain. Under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP, alone, CBN has created over 12 million jobs in agriculture, and the number is still growing.
“The fall of the naira in the forex market has been noticeable since the advent of the IMF-led Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986, and the introduction of the Second Tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM). Since then, the Naira has been in a free fall. This economic hemorrhage was arrested by Emefiele’s courage to stop non-funding of the importation of over 40 items, a tough decision on the basis of which he became a subject of blackmail.
“But for Emefiele, Nigeria would have been wasting scarce forex to import rice, wheat and other farm produce all of which are today being produced in commercial quantity in the country.
“The President Nigeria needs in 2023 must be innovative and one who is endowed with the capacity to recognize the creative energies inherent in Nigerian youths and help them to channel such energies to productive ventures. Emefiele as Central Bank Governor has shown a strong bias towards youth empowerment. As President, he will be in a vantage position to guide the nation’s youth to become creators of wealth and builders of values in an emerging new Nigeria.
“Should APC refuse to adopt Emefiele as its consensus Presidential candidate, we have already set in motion a machinery to stage a protest in Lagos, New York and London to raise a global consciousness and to compel the APC to heed our advice. We cannot continue to recycle the same set of politicians. Now is the time to embrace the real change – the 21st Century change,” the statement said.