The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday hurriedly abandoned President Muhammad Buhari in the United States following his open admonishing of him on Monday.A Presidency source said that Mr. Emefiele asked to see President Buhari and then requested to leave for an “important” meeting in London. The President is said to have granted the request.
On Monday, the president had warned his aides against smuggling Nigerian businessmen into meetings during his visit. Later that evening, he openly admonished the CBN governor for smuggling the former Managing Director of Zenith bank, Jim Ovia, into a dinner organized by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Presidency sources said the CBN governor’s request to leave Washington DC came as a surprise, as he had not previously informed President Buhari of any other meeting he had to attend, especially one that would deprive the President of a prominent member of his delegation.
It is unclear as of the time of publishing this report if Mr. Ovia, who was the beneficiary of Mr. Emefiele’s efforts, has also left the US.
Also on Monday, President Buhari took advantage of the meeting with his aides to order the opening of a desk at the presidential villa in Abuja where Nigerians who wished to see him could apply to do so. It is common knowledge that in the preceding administration, wealthy Nigerians paid millions to be allowed to see the President.