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CNG deplores Buhari’s lame response to Supreme Court judgment on naira swap

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
17 March 2023   |   3:57 am
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, said that the lame response by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Supreme Court order on naira swap was only meant to deceive the nation.

A vendor shows old and newly introduced Nigerian Naira banknotes in a market in Lagos on February 16, 2023. – Nigeria has been struggling with a shortage in physical cash since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began to swap old bills of the local naira currency for new, re-designed ones, leading to a shortfall in banknotes. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP)

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, said that the lame response by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Supreme Court order on naira swap was only meant to deceive the nation.

The CNG, in a statement by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, urged the international community to note that responsibility should ultimately lie in Buhari and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele in the event of any rupture in the system as a result of their deceptive insincere handling of the issue.

He said it is curious that days after the said directive by the President, the naira scarcity is showing no sign of abating.

“The situation is worsening by the day, as both the old and new notes are deliberately withheld by government. And while innocent families are going hungry, businesses crumbling and tension mounting, Buhari and Emefiele, appear to be in isolation or living in total denial.

“By now, everyone is aware that Buhari only deceived the nation by faking a directive to the CBN to respect the judgment of the Supreme Court, knowing fully well that he did not mean it to be carried out. Emefiele too pretended he was obeying the directive only to further press the cash squeeze upon citizens,” the statement noted.

The group, therefore, wondered why neither Buhari nor Emefiele has found it helpful to address the nation on the new directive, the way they did when they were imposing the inhuman and draconian policy on the nation.

The statement added: “Buhari and Emefiele only made clumsy, scanty and ambiguous statements through their spokespersons as though the matter is not serious enough.

“At this point, it has become obvious that Buhari is using Emefiele in a sinister scheme to revisit on the nation his harsh, and ill-conceived autocratic 1984 currency review that created untold mass suffering and widespread frustration as well as the death of several Nigerians.

“The insincerity in Buhari’s pronouncements is further confirmed by the fact that since they were made, investigation by the CNG across Northern states have shown that since the deceptive directive was given, the deposit money banks have not been reimbursed with either the old or new notes.

“This explains why the banks resort to issuing less than N5,000 to customers with legitimate need for their own money as against the Supreme Court order that no President or any officer in government has the right to deny citizens access to their own money.

“Sadly, Buhari has in the last lap of his tenure chosen the path of dishonour, dictatorship, aristocracy and is bound to leave behind a very bad legacy to the nation.

“In process, Buhari and Emefiele have not only scandalised the vital national institutions, such as the CBN, but also ridiculed the country’s judicial system, which we hold unacceptable, unwarranted and ignoble.

“We call on the National Assembly to move quickly to rescue the CBN, the image of the courts and the nation generally from imminent decay and slip into decadence by checkmating the dictatorial tendencies unfolding in the nation.”

“We also call on the patriotic state governors, who initiated the legal process and the ungodly regime of monetary policies, to intensify efforts to save the nation, its financial institutions and judiciary. In this regard, we suggest they meet with the president-elect and fashion a way out to halt the current national drift toward greater conflict.”

The coalition also urge Nigerians to remain vigilant as to the direction our country is headed and to rise and speak up against these unwarranted, unforgiveable injustices.