May 12, 2022/CSL Research
Yesterday, the President in a two-paged letter signed by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, ordered the resignation of all Ministers, heads and members of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals of the government, ambassadors as well as other political appointees who desire to contest for elective offices on or before Monday, May 16. This directive is coming on the heels of criticisms directed at the CBN governor following news of his intentions to contest the elections. News broke out that the CBN governor had last weekend paid for the APC ticket, and criticisms continue to mount with many arguing that the CBN governor is expected to be non-Partisan.
The circular states that affected Ministers are to hand over to Ministers of State where they exist or to the Permanent Secretary, where there is no Minister of State. Ambassadors shall hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most senior Foreign Service Officer in line with established practices. Similarly, Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals are to hand over to the most senior Director/Officer as may be peculiar to the organisation, in line with the service-wide Circular No. SGF.50/S. Il/C.2/268 of 4th December 2017. Should the CBN governor decide to resign and pursue his political ambition, the affairs of the CBN will be handed over to Aishah Ahmad, the current deputy governor. The CBN’s governor is expected to expire in June 2024. That said, even if the CBN governor steps down, we do not expect any significant change in policies till the elections are over.
Another interesting twist is the rumour that the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan plans to contest the elections under the platform of the APC. The rumour trailed a recent closed-door meeting between Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and the National Chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu. Goodluck Jonathan is currently a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
We expect the country’s 2023 presidential elections to be keenly contested. Though there will be many other candidates from other parties, we expect the presidential battle to be between the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC). As things stand, it appears impossible to tell at this stage who those candidates will be for both parties. The list of candidates who wish to contest the presidential elections continues to grow. We reiterate however that Nigerian politics is not based on competing ideologies but rival interests and ambitions, making it difficult to forecast what an APC or a PDP win will do for the economy. An easier way is to focus on the individuals contesting and not their party affiliations.