The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, says that the Supreme Court ruling which temporarily restrained the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from implementing the February 10 deadline for use of old naira notes, has pulled the country back from the precipice as it was dangerously heading towards anarchy and political and economic shutdown.
Tinubu hailed the 36 state governors especially those from APC-controlled states for defending the masses who have been made to bear the brunt of the controversial CBN Naira redesign and cashless policies.
This was made known on Wednesday by Tinubu through a statement issued by the Director of Media and Publicity for APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, a few hours after the Supreme Court ruling.
Supreme Court Justices ruled on the side of the people
Tinubu said the apex court ruling coincided with the advisory of the International Monetary Fund urging for the extension of the deadline for the swap of the old naira notes.
- He said, “I want to salute the courage of our governors, especially the Progressives Governors in APC, who acted to save our country from avoidable and dangerous political crises and social unrest, which the Central Bank policy on new Naira notes has brought on our country.
- “Our country was dangerously careering toward anarchy and political and economic shutdown. But with the Supreme Court interim ruling, our country has been pulled back from the precipice. We thank our Supreme Court Justices for ruling wisely on the side of the people who have been subjected to undue agony and pain since this policy was announced.
- “The Federal Government and relevant stakeholders can now sit down and work out a better framework on how to proceed with the new policy without causing any social and economic disruption and inconvenience to our people. We have examples of other countries that have successfully and seamlessly changed their currencies to learn from.
- “Those countries give a long time, at least 12 months to effect the currency change. They do not engage in a CBN-like Fire Brigade approach. We have seen how a good policy can be poorly implemented to cause unintended problems for the people who should be the beneficiaries. While lessons have been learnt, we must now move on as a country and people with a Renewed Hope for a better tomorrow.
- “The sole aim of my running to be the president of our country is to make life better and more abundant for our people and this is an ideal for which I will remain eternally committed.”
The APC presidential candidate further called on the CBN to ensure that the Supreme Court ruling is effectively executed by taking all necessary steps to ensure sufficient availability of the Naira (whether old or new) and properly sensitizing the public on the ruling including the consequent validity of old notes.
For the record
- The CBN had on January 29, 2023, extended its January 31 deadline for the swapping of old naira notes with the redesigned new naira notes till February 10, 2023, after bowing to pressure following many pleas from Nigerians across different walks of life.
- Following his meeting with APC Governors, who called for his intervention in the naira scarcity, President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday, February 3, 2023, asked for a 7-day period to address the problems associated with the exercise as well as take a decision.
- A few days ago, 13 political parties out of the 18 political parties in Nigeria threatened to withdraw from participating in the February 25 and March 11, 2023, general elections, if the CBN extends the February 10 deadline for the naira swap.
- The Supreme Court earlier on Wednesday in a suit brought before it by the governments of Zamfara, Kogi and Kaduna States gave an interim injunction against the CBN and federal government allowing the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to remain legal tender beyond February 10 deadline until the case is fully disposed of.