Our reporter| President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged Nigerians to go out and vote their conscience as the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has minimised the influence of money in the country’s politics.
The President, who gave the advice in a televised nationwide address, said the development is a positive departure from the past and a legacy for his administration.
“Fellow citizens, on the 25th of February, 2023 the nation would be electing a new President and National Assembly members,” he said.
“I am aware that this new monetary policy has also contributed immensely to the minimization of the influence of money in politics.
“This is a positive departure from the past and represents a bold legacy step by this administration, towards laying a strong foundation for free and fair elections.”
Buhari urged Nigerians to vote for their preferred candidates in the forthcoming polls without fear and eschew violence.
“I urge every citizen, therefore, to go out to vote for their candidates of choice without fear, because security shall be provided and your vote shall count,” he said.
“I however admonish you to eschew violence and avoid actions capable of disrupting the electoral processes. I wish us all a successful general election.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria on October 26, 2022, announced the plan to redesign the biggest denominations of the country’s currency to control the money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
The apex bank said the new notes (N200, N500, and N1000) would be effective from mid-December 2022, advising customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender.
However, the deadline was extended to February 10 as many Nigerians could not access the new naira notes.
Three state governors later filed a suit at the supreme court to challenge the CBN deadline and on February 8, the court temporarily restrained the federal government from banning the use of the old naira notes from February 10, 2023, pending the hearing of the matter on February 15.
Despite the court’s order, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday insisted that the deadline for the swap of the old naira notes remained sacrosanct.
The supreme court yesterday adjourned the hearing of the case to February 22, and insisted the old naira notes are still legal tender.
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