By Chuks Eke
As mixed reactions continue to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of old N1,000 and N500 notes as illegal tenders, former civilian Governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife has expressed support to Buhari’s naira redesign policy, so long as it would guarantee free, fair and credible elections in the country.
He said the only good legacy Buhari can leave for Nigerians after his tenure is ensuring a free, fair, transparent and credible election in 2023 as he promised, adding, “as you can see, this naira redesign policy is geared towards discouraging vote buying and money politics”.
Reacting to the current conflicts between Buhari and Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele on one side and Governors El Rufai, Ganduje, Bello and Speaker of House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila on the opposite side, Ezeife stated that constitution places financial policy in the exclusive list of the federal government, which empowers Buhari and CBN to decide the fiscal policy of the country.
He contended that the new naira redesign policy in the country is so strategic that it would definitely help to curb vote buying and money politics capable of leading to election rigging and other election malpractices, adding that with a free, fair and credible election, Nigeria would become a place where ethnic and religious sentiments would become a thing of the past and Nigerians, irrespective of religious and ethnic back grounds, would have an equal right.
He therefore urged the suffering masses to absorb the negative effects of the new naira redesign policy and exercise patience till after the election but to come put en mass to vote for a credible candidate that can rescue thus country.
In his own reaction, a fiery cleric, Bishop Abraham Chris Udeh expressed displeasure over the declaration by Buhari that the old N1,000 and N500 notes should cease to be legal tenders with immediate effect.
He therefore asked the national assembly to invoke the powers conferred on them by the relevant sections of the Nigerian Constitution to impeach President Buhari for starving Nigerians to death in the name of checkmating vote buying through new naira notes swap.
Bishop Udeh who is also the General Overseer of Mount Zion Faith Global Liberation Ministries (aka “By Fire By Fire”), Nnewi, Anambra state, said the Central Bank, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele should be booted out of office and possibly prosecuted for inhuman treatment to Nigerians.
He said it is quite disheartening that Nigerians are roaming the streets in an endless search for new naira notes and both Buhari and Emefiele are busy telling them to have patience and wait for the stability of the new naira notes when the masses are dying of hunger and starvation.
He said more worrisome is the fact that the federal government refused to obey the Supreme Court order to allow the old naira notes coexist with the new notes till February 22 when the Apex court is expected to give a final verdict on the suit filed by three state governors against the federal government as it concerns the new naira notes.
Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, in his own reaction, described Buhari as a weakling president who can no longer be in charge of the helm of affairs in the country.
Datti who spoke at the Palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe on Thursday, during a courtesy call on the monarch, said from the look of things, Buhari’s hands are so tied that some cabals in Aso Rock are dictating for him.
He said this was one of the reasons he decided to visit Obi of Onitsha to explain to him that some of these anti peoples policies would cease to exist once Peter Obi cones on board as the next president of Nigeria.