A coalition of rice farmers and other crop growers yesterday moved to drag the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele into the 2023 presidential race by purchasing the N100 million All Progressives Congress’ presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for him.
On the same day, South-west APC presidential aspirants and leaders met in Lagos and reached an agreement to ensure that the next presidential candidate of the party is produced by the region.
As at last night, the CBN governor had not responded to the challenge. Emefiele has not officially indicated interest in competing for the Presidential flag of the APC, saying he is focused on strengthening the nation’s economy.
Expressing the reason for their push for Emefiele, the farmers said the CBN governor’s tenure as head of the Nigerian apex bank, “has shown capacity, focus, courage and worked tirelessly with the economic team of President Mohammadu Buhari to keep the economy of our great country afloat above recession and outright collapse.”
They said they took the decision having realised that the CBN governor “is one of the trusted and tested Nigerians that have the commitment and competence to protect the interests of farmers across the country and give priority to commodity and agricultural value chain.”
The leaders of 30 farmers’ associations met in Abuja last Wednesday to articulate their position on the Nigerian presidency, saying that they are the biggest stakeholders in the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.
One of the conveners of the meeting, Malam Ibrahim Garba said the robust national security the country needs now could only be achieved through food security.
Garba said: “Agriculture is the key to achieving national security. Through agriculture, millions of Nigerians are economically empowered and gainfully engaged, our industries are revived, a multifaceted value chain ecosystem created, and food security is ensured.
“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigerians were never short of food. We were never hungry even when every country in the world shut its borders for nearly a year.
“Only God knows what would have happened if we were importing the food we eat. There would have been war. But that was averted due to the resilience of Nigerian farmers and commitment to agriculture by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
A leader from the South-east, Chief Madu Ndubuisi, said the representatives of farmers and their leaders decided to acquire an APC form for Emefiele, who is the driver of the Buhari agricultural revolution, to sustain this unprecedented agricultural feat.
22 APC Presidential Aspirants Pick Forms
As at last night, no fewer than 22 presidential aspirants had purchased the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms of the APC ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
The new aspirants that picked forms are Emefiele; former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; the Senator representing Ondo-North, Ajayi Boroffice and the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.
Others that had earlier picked forms are Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi; former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; Minister of State, Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba; former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu and Uju Kennedy, the only female aspirant.
The APC has also sold forms to Pastor Tunde Bakare; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the youngest presidential aspirant, Nicholas Bello; Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige.
Others are Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru; the former Governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima and the former speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.
Yerima, Onu Join Race to Succeed Buhari
Yerima joined the presidential race yesterday, declaring that he had informed President Buhari of his ambition.
Yerima, who spoke after meeting with the President at the State House, Abuja, said he was seeking the presidential ticket of APC with the aim of improving on the efforts of the Buhari administration.
On his plans to set things straight for Nigeria, Yerima said he would be focusing on three critical areas of needs namely insecurity, poverty and ignorance.
Likewise, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday officially declared his intention to vie for the APC’s presidential ticket ahead of next year’s elections.
South-west presidential aspirants meet in Lagos
South-west APC presidential aspirants and leaders met in Lagos yesterday and reached an agreement to ensure that the region produces the next APC presidential candidate.
A former National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, made this known while addressing journalists at the end of the meeting.
He said the South-west APC presidential aspirants, governors and other leaders are united ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The party stalwarts and aspirants also agreed “to talk to themselves and the public with absolute decorum.”
Akande said: “We are united as we will ensure that the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will come to the South-west.
“We had a fruitful discussion. We also resolved that everybody should maintain absolute decorum because we are united.”
Those present at the meeting included Osinbajo, Tinubu; Amosun and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The governors of Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Oyetola, Dapo Abiodun, Rotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi, respectively were present.
Also at the meeting were the Ministers of Works and Housing, Trade and Industry and Investment, and Interior, Babatunde Fashola, Adeniyi Adebayo and Rauf Aregbesola, respectively.
The National Secretary of APC, Chief Iyiola Omisore was also at the meeting.
Culled from THISDAY