Anti-democrats devising to buy votes are those shouting against CBN's naira redesign - Atiku


Atiku Abubakar

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said anti-democrats who are devising means to buy votes during this month’s presidential election are the ones shouting against CBN’s Naira redesign.

He told the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to extend the deadline for the swap of old naira notes with new ones again.

The CBN had given additional 10 days extension for the swap of old notes with new ones.

Atiku’s comment was contained in a statement issued by his campaign office in Abuja on Wednesday.

The former vice president said the additional ten days given by the CBN would enable people in the rural areas and ordinary people across the country to take the naira in their possession into the banks.

He said this would enable the CBN to further circulate the new currency notes among banks so that people could have easy access.

According to him, within these ten days, the CBN should initiate measures that would alleviate the problems being encountered by the people in exchanging their old naira notes for new ones and getting more new notes into circulation.

He added that the apex bank might have to consider printing more currency notes to eliminate the current scarcity among ordinary people, especially rural dwellers who needed them for their daily transactions.

“If the CBN thinks its officials and banks must operate at the weekend in order to address the needs of the ordinary people and rural dwellers, it may have to consider this option, after all the amount these people require is not huge.

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“The essential element here is ensuring that the new currency goes around and is well distributed to the points where people can easily access them. Every good policy must be people-centred and must not bring an avoidable difficulty to the people.

“However, the CBN should be wary of the elite whose motive for crying out about more postponement of the deadline for the tenure of the old naira notes is sinister and far from being altruistic. I am totally in support of building a cashless economy and reducing the amount of cash in our economy,’ he said.

Atiku argued that the cashless policy and reduction of the cash in circulation had many advantages and that every patriotic Nigerian should support the CBN on this.

He noted that the move would help to reduce the flow of illicit funds in our economy. It will help to defeat the funding of terrorism and deter the circulation of drug money in our economy. It will help our fight against corruption.

The PDP’s presidential candidate said more importantly, a cashless economy would help to save and grow democracy, saying those who had devised several means of buying votes in the coming elections and using money to corrupt the electoral system as well as destroying the principle of one man, one vote and the goal of a credible, peaceful, free, and fair poll were the ones shouting against the cashless policy and naira redesign.

“The anti-democratic elements who are pretending to be democrats are the ones ganging up against the CBN because of the currency redesigning and the cashless regime it seeks to enthrone. They have been scheming and lobbying day and night to frustrate the policy. Now, their new measure is to lobby for a second postponement of the deadline for the change of currency. I urge the CBN and the government to ignore their antics. The CBN should not succumb to the current pressure.

“There should be no further postponement of the new naira regime after the expiration of the February 10 deadline. The vote riggers are seeking to push the CBN to extend till after the election when they would have achieved their evil plots.

“The CBN and the Presidency should be steadfast. The merits of the new naira policy far outweigh the little inconvenience we are experiencing. This is one policy that will benefit the country in the long term. We should not allow those selfish, parochial people with the narrow vision to derail it,” he said.


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