A public policy think tank, the NEO AFRICANA CENTRE, has queried why only the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu is up against the new currency swap initiated and implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Agency simply identified as Center is alleging that the reason Tinubu is kicking against the new policy is simply because he has stored monies he intends to use to induce electorates, buy votes and rig the forthcoming 2023 presidential election. “Those resisting the Naira swap policy are individuals and institutions that have stockpiled Naira notes for purposes that will not serve the interest of the public”.
The Center stated this on Friday in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Jenkins Udu and made available to our correspondent. Udu in the statement called on Nigerians not to be deceived by the antics of those who have masked their real motives while pretending to have the interest of the people at heart. According to him: “We note with satisfaction that well meaning Nigerians have welcomed the policy and have urged the people to bear with the government as the present state of affairs is only temporary. “It is indeed curious that while other leading presidential candidates have accepted the policy, only the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, is up in arms against it. So, why is Tinubu and his APC incensed over the policy? This question should agitate the minds of Nigerians”, he asked?
The Centre said however, while it is worried about the scarcity of both the old and new Naira notes, it is important to situate the issue properly so that Nigerians can know what the real problem is. He continued: “The plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to deploy stupendous amounts of cash for vote-buying, a plan which has been frustrated by the currency swap, is responsible for the ongoing crisis of confidence over the real intentions of the government on the policy. “While the government has stopped at nothing to explain the rationale for the action, contrary forces massed up within the APC have deployed falsehood and propaganda to make the new policy look punitive. “We are curious that it is only the APC, among the leading political parties, that is raising eyebrows on the matter.
“We are fully aware of the antics of some bigwigs, particularly of the APC political family, over the currency swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria. A monetary policy that aims at sanitizing the financial sector of our economy is being made to look like a punitive action directed at the well-being and living conditions of Nigerians. “The naysayers have stopped at nothing to arm-twist the government with the aim of getting it to back out of the well intentioned policy. Some have even resorted to litigation as a way of forcing the hands of the government. We find this distasteful and unacceptable.
“For us, it is a patriotic duty to alert Nigerians to the real intentions of those resisting the currency swap. They are currency racketeers who have stockpiled humongous amounts of money for the forthcoming general elections. The new policy has, it were, frustrated their plan to deploy the huge cash they have stockpiled for the elections. “Nigerians should therefore shun them like a plague as their actions are purely self-serving. “We urge the people not to be deceived by the claim that the court action instituted by some APC governors led by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State is in the interest of Nigerians. “It is not. Rather, it serves only the narrow, selfish interest of the APC and its presidential candidate”, the statement said.
By Kingsley Chukwuka
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