The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele has reportedly dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to join Peter Obi’s Labour Party (LP) following the announcement of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President-Elect of Nigeria.
In an exclusive report by The Nation, Godwin Emefiele was alleged to have ramped up a cash sum of ₦500 million to fund the campaign of the Lagos State Labour Party in the upcoming governorship elections.
The CBN governor who currently faces heavy criticism over the unending Naira scarcity in Nigeria was also said to have secured the services of high military officials to ensure Tinubu’s party, the APC, does not win the Lagos governorship race.
Recall that Godwin Emefiele contested unsuccessfully for the presidential ticket of the APC, a move many Nigerians described as illegal and politicisation of the country’s treasury.
The CBN which Emefiele is controlling served as the main banker of the Federal government and undertakes most of the Federal Government banking businesses within and outside the country.
The Bank also provides banking services to the state and local governments and may act as banker to institutions, funds, or corporations set up by the Federal, State, and Local Governments. The CBN also finances the government in periods of temporary budget shortfalls through Ways and Means Advances subject to limits imposed by law.
Sources told that The Nation that the apex bank has released N500 million in new bank notes to shore up the campaign of the Labour Party (LP) in the state.
LP secured an upset against APC in the February 25 presidential polls in the state when its candidate, Peter Obi, polled 582,454 votes as against the 577,606 scored by Tinubu’s APC.
It was learnt that the N500 million windfall was mobilised through high-level CBN agents in Lagos. It was described as “Oga’s own contribution to the takeover-Lagos-from- Tinubu’s-influence, now that he has become the president-elect and will be relocating to Abuja”.
It was also learnt that Emefiele had worked to ensure that Tinubu did not emerge as presidential candidate and president-elect.
Aside Emefiele’s N500 million cash, the LP has also reportedly received $2 million cash from a famous retired billionaire general, who hails from the North.
Sources told The Nation that the cash bonanza is intended to give undue advantage to the LP candidate, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, over the two other major contestants – incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC and Mr. Olajide Adediran of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose campaign and mobilisation have been seriously affected by the cash squeeze caused by Emefiele’s Naira redesign policy.
Besides, Emefiele, who hails from Delta North, is said to be an enthusiastic promoter of the “Igbo agenda” to install “our own in Alausa come May 29”.
To perfect the plot, the cooperation of a senior military officer in command position in Lagos, is said to have been secured by Emefiele.
The commander, the sources said, is expected to provide “military muscle” to the “agenda” to take over Lagos.
He was said to have similarly played a “spoiler role” on February 25 by deliberately deploying troops to provide “cover” for the massive rigging in Ajah, Lekki areas in favour of LP’s Obi.
The commander also allegedly provided “cover” for the massive rigging reported in Amuwo-Odofin, Ojo, Alaba and Iba areas. For instance, troops at his behest, reportedly “detained” the Oniba of Ibaland in his palace, ostensibly to “prevent him from being able to mobilise his people to vote Tinubu”. Troops similarly invaded the palace of Elegushi in Ikateland and openly brutalised APC supporters in viral videos. Oba Saheed Elegushi is known to be a staunch Tinubu supporter.
The latest secret cash largesse to the LP candidate’s campaign is coming at a time many Nigerians groan under acute cash scarcity as daily languish in endless queues at banking halls and ATM centres across the country without being able to access their savings, despite a Supreme Court order on March 3 mandating the revalidation of the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes till December 31, 2023.