by Tolulope Adeyemi
Former President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why he did not sack the erstwhile governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, despite speculations surrounding his (Emefiele) presidential ambition during the 2023 elections.
Buhari disclosed that he did not remove Emefiele because of the absence of firm evidence that he was indeed pursuing a presidential ambition.
Buhari revealed this in a memoir titled ‘Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015 – 2023),’ written by his former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and presented in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the memoir, Buhari was quoted to have said, “When he (Emefiele) was linked with the campaign for the 2023 presidency, I did not ask him, because he told nobody he was getting involved. Otherwise, I would have removed him and told the nation why.”
Buhari stated that “unless there was firm evidence against him,” it would be “unfair”, and “an act of injustice to remove him, acting on hearsay.”
The former president added, “If you punish a man unjustly, it could dog his footsteps throughout life, so if you would punish, you must have evidence and you should know that yourself wouldn’t be there forever. You would leave one day.
“I’m very conscious about the morale of people who serve with me. I also expect whoever succeeds me to be fair to me. I have family, friends, who will feel it. I’m very conscious of fairness.”
During the unveiling ceremony of the book, President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday, said his predecessor, Buhari, hasn’t interfered in his administration since he left government in 2023.
“After handing over, you (Buhari) said, ‘I will be far away in Daura but if you need me, contact me. I won’t intrude on whatever you are doing. I won’t interfere. I won’t breathe down on your throat.”
On Saturday, May 7, 2022, Emefiele said that he was looking to God for direction on whether to contest or not for the All Progressives Congress presidential ticket in the primary scheduled for the end of the month.
He also stated that going into the contest would mean drawing down on his “hard-earned savings” of the past 35 years of service.
Emefiele’s reaction came barely 24 hours after a group of farmers and business people obtained the N100m nomination and expression of interest forms on his behalf at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the venue of the sale of forms.
Credit: The Punch Newspaper