A report has emerged revealing that President Muhammadu Buhari is the brain behind the naira redesigning policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to the report, President Buhari directed the Governor Godwin Emefiele-led apex bank to implement the policy to check the issue of vote buying ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Naija News recalls that Buhari had, on November 23, 2022, unveiled the redesigned naira note consisting of N200, N500, and N1,000 bank notes, respectively, with a deadline of January 31st to swap old notes for new ones.
But after much outcry by Nigerians and political stakeholders, the President ordered an extension of the deadline to February 10th.
However, the extension has not been successful, as many Nigerians are still scrambling to get the new notes as the deadline draws nearer.
Although governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had met with President Buhari demanding the concurrent use of the new and old notes till the end of this year, Buhari had rejected the demand of the governors and urged Nigerians to give him a seven-day grace to resolve the naira scarcity.
Unsatisfied with Buhari’s response, three APC governors – Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and Bello Mutawalle of Zamfara – dragged the president and the CBN to the Supreme Court seeking to stop the deadline placed on swapping the old notes.
But speaking to The Whistler on Monday, top government officials with knowledge of the policy disclosed that President Buhari would not back down on the policy because it is one of his agenda to ensure that the 2023 election is free, fair, and credible without voters being bought with money by politicians.
According to the source, Buhari believes that with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), votes will count, and as such, politicians who have perfected the act of intimidating constituents will not have their way.
The source said, “This new naira note is actually the president’s idea, and he is the one that authorized it and not Emefiele, and he believes that it is one thing that will help stop vote buying.
“The President believes that with this BVAS, votes will count and that politicians have perfected the act of intimidating constituents. Recall that he had said that no politician would be allowed to mobilise resources to intimidate constituents.
“The President believes that politicians have perfected the act of mobilizing cash to intimidate constituents through vote buying during the elections and that they have stockpiled many cash waiting to deploy it to different constituencies.
“So, this is the president’s idea completely. Most of these notable politicians have identified where these cash are being stockpiled, and that was why over two months grace period was given to people to go and return money.
“Those who earned money legitimately have been returning the money to the banks, and there is no bank that have ever refused to accept any of the old banknotes.
“But those who got the money illegitimately refused because they believe they could put pressure on the federal government and the central bank to rescind this decision, and it has not worked.”
While stating that corrupt politicians are behind protests and articles against the policy, the source said their antics would not work because Buhari is committed to seeing to the full implementation of the policy.
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