Nigeria’s central bank governor has ended his bid to become the country’s next president after his highly visible entry into party politics.
Godwin MPhil missed the formalities of his candidacy by the ruling All Progressives Congress and President Muhammad Buhari and the deadline set by the central bank for his resignation. By remaining in office after May 16, the 60-year-old effectively abandoned his short-term campaign for the top position in Africa’s largest economy.
MPHIL gave rise to a backlash when his lawyers asked for a ruling in a federal court in the capital, Abuja, on May 5 to allow the governor to hold the central bank’s top post while contesting the APC’s upcoming presidential primary. Party spokesman Joseph Morca said the MPH had not submitted its candidacy form by the May 13 deadline.
Central bank spokeswoman Osita Nawanisobi said in a text message that the governor had not involved himself in “party politics” in any way. MPhil said on Twitter on May 7 that he was still deciding whether to enter the contest when supporters bought the APC nomination form for him. It was two days after the lawsuit was filed that he said he “wanted to run for president” and that any political party should be allowed to run in the primary.
Buhari issued a directive on May 11, copying the MPHIL, to make the case unnecessary by ordering ministers and political appointees who plan to run for office in February to resign by May 16.
Critics argue that a biased actor should not be in charge of an independent central bank, which could be used to increase his party’s fortunes. “Nigerians must see with complete disbelief how the rule of law and economic commonsense are being undermined,” said Arubai, an economist based in Lagos, Mossope.
Before the outrage over the governor’s legal animosity, cabinet members hoped to retain their portfolios during the campaign. Some of them, such as Justice Minister Abubakar Malami and Labor Minister Chris Ngige, have ended their campaigns to stay in government.
While Emefiele seems ready to continue his post, it cannot be guaranteed that he will be able to.
After a closed-door meeting with Buhari on May 12, the governor told reporters he was “having a lot of fun” giving them a “heart attack” without making their ambitions clear. The main opposition People’s Democratic Party called the statement “provocative” and urged the governor to resign.
According to Kingsley Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Abuja-based bank, who is running for president on behalf of another opposition party, the MPHIL has violated the law, which requires top central bank officials to devote all their time and energy to the organization.
On May 11, he said, “The growing law in this country makes no sense.” “It simply came to our notice then. It is a violation of morality. It’s a violation of morality. ”
The unconventional intervention of the central bank governor in the economy – taking NARA forward, providing government funding and lending money to farmers, businessmen and the Nollywood film industry – has been controversial. However, its policies are largely consistent with Buhari’s goals, including supporting currency and rationing foreign exchange for imports.
His brief flirtation with party politics has intensified the skepticism surrounding his independence in so-called apolitical positions.
“Even if Governor MPhil is no longer interested in running for president, he will have to resign because his bias is no longer in doubt and therefore dangerous for the forthcoming election,” the Daily Trust, a Lagos-based newspaper, said in an editorial. May 16
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