ETHNIC youth leaders in the country have flayed recent statements against the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, by the trio of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay as well as activist publisher, Omoyele Sowore, following his perceived 2023 presidential ambition.
Recall that three groups, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Friends of Emefiele and Emefiele Support Group, Friday, purchased the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the CBN Governor to vie for the presidential seat in the forthcoming general election.
The development has drawn attention, attracting a barrage of criticisms against the CBN Governor. Some of the critics, among those who are the Ondo and Sokoto State governors, have asked the financial expert to turn in his resignation letter as CBN Governor to concentrate on his political career.
But the ethnic youth leaders in the country, reacting in a statement, on Sunday, took exception to the criticisms that have trailed the development, noting that leaving the current President of the African Development Bank and former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akiwumi Adesina, who also obtained the form, out and singling Emefiele out in the actions, was an ethnic bias.
“We have just witnessed a brazen display of ethnic bigotry from the likes of Governor Akeredolu, Professor Sagay, and Mr Omoyele Sowore, who have come out to openly attack the person of the CBN Governor on hearing that form has been purchased for him.
”They are calling for his resignation while also keeping mute on the purchase of the APC nomination form by the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina who holds a similar office. Why not also ask Adesina to resign or call for his sack.
“This only amounts to ethnic attack against the CBN Governor, who is not their kinsman. Therefore, we ask them to cease their rants as they hold no water and will not affect the determination of Nigerians who want to see a capable and most qualified leader in the person of Godwin Emefiele joining the 2023 presidential race,” the ethnic leaders said in a statement by their leader, Alhaji Kabiru Yusuf.
Meanwhile, the coalition of 28 groups, which procured an All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for the President, African Development Bank AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, has said it did not have the consent of the continental public servant to purchase the forms.
According to the coalition, 24 hours after paying for the forms, it has not been able to reach the banker. It, however, said Adesina remains the best man for the job and that the groups needed to procure the forms to meet with relevant deadlines before trying to convince Mr Adesina.
According to leader of the Youth Arise Movement, one of the groups in the coalition, Babatunde Ademola, said: “I am one of the group leaders of this team of 28 groups that have been working tirelessly and consulting across the country and even outside the country to ensure that we get him to come and obey the clarion call.
“I want to tell you significantly that we have tried to reach out to him, we have sent messages; we have looked at any way we will get across to him. We have not gotten any definite response from him”
Also Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has rejected the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) bought for him by a group of farmers.
Emefiele said that should he decide to seek presidential nomination for the 2023 general elections, he will use his hard-earned savings from over 35 years of banking leadership to buy his nomination forms.