Central Banker Among Nigeria Presidential Hopefuls Asked to Quit - BLOOMBERG
MAY 12, 2022
BY , Bloomberg News
(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s president ordered officials who plan to take part in next year’s elections, including central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, to resign by May 16.
Emefiele is among a number of other political appointees who were sent the memorandum containing President Muhammadu Buhari’s order. Six cabinet members have declared their intention to run for president in elections scheduled for next February, while Emefiele has argued in court that he is not a political appointee.
The order “affects all ministers, heads and members of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals of government, ambassadors as well as other political appointees who desire to contest for elective offices,” according to the memo, issued late Wednesday and signed by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation.
An earlier order released on Wednesday was directed only at members of the cabinet. In a court filing on May 5 seeking his exemption from such rules on the grounds that he is not a political appointee, lawyers for Emefiele expressed his “desires to contest elections as president.” If the governor were to resign, one of the deputy governors will step in temporarily until a new one is appointed by the president. A central bank spokesman couldn’t comment immediately when contacted by phone.
Emefiele’s second five-year term as governor ends in June 2024. Government appointees holding tenured office will have to decide if they want to resign voluntarily or “someone will decide” for them Garba Shehu, a spokesman Buhari, said on Thursday on Channels TV, a local television station. Buhari will meet with all its cabinet members that resign by 10 a.m. Friday to bid them farewell, Shehu said. “It is all done -- signed, sealed and delivered,” he said.
Almost 50 candidates, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Senate President Ahmed Lawan, have indicated their interest in running for president under the two major parties, the All Progressives Congress and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party. Osinbajo and Lawan are exempted from the order to resign as they are not political appointees.