An amalgamation of patriots in Northern Nigeria under the aegis of Coalition Of Northern Patriots For National Reorientation has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore calls for the sack the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele over “controversies” trailing the planned redesign some denominations of the Naira notes.
The group also urged the CBN to insert expiry dates on each batch of the redesigned naira notes to discourage the stockpiling of the banknotes by corrupt politicians and persons with questionable sources of income.
Recently, Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) had urged President Buhari to sack the CBN Governor and his team within seven days, threatening to stage “massive protests across the Northern region and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”.
But in a statement issued in Abuja by spokesman of the Coalition Of Northern Patriots For National Reorientation, Alhaji Ali Abacha, the patriots said only groups sponsored by corrupt politicians can kick against the Naira redesign.
According to the Patriots, Nigeria is at the crossroads, both politically and economically. The coalition insisted that it then calls for “drastic steps and a lot of sacrifices to return the country to the path of prosperity for all as against the current regime where the interests of a few individuals are protected.”
The patriots noted that Naira redesign was long overdue, urging “the CBN to consider inserting expiry date on every batch of the naira notes to ensure that no individual stocks large sums of money in his bedchamber or underground.”
The statement added, “Today, many highly placed individuals, who cannot explain the source of their income, stockpile Naira notes in various denominations in their houses for fear of the anti-graft agencies.
“Some others who are engaged in illicit drug trafficking and kidnapping for ransom have stockpiles of notes in their houses while the economy is starved of urgently needed funds that should be in circulation to help the economy grow.
“For us, any individual or group working to stop the scheduled redesign of banknotes in the country is either ignorant or may be working for corrupt politicians and persons whose sources of income are questionable.
“We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore calls for the sack of the CBN Governor and his management team and treat individuals and groups agitating for the stoppage of Naira redesign as enemies of democracy and the prosperity of the country.
“We call on all security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation persons and groups plotting to truncate the Naira redesign process as the investigation may lead to uncovering criminal syndicate and political thieves behind them.
“We hereby emphasize that northern Nigeria is not any way against the CBN policy to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes as already approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigeria needs to end vote buying and 2023 is the best time to start the process as tackling vote buying could be one of the many unintended but immeasurable benefits of the Naira redesign beside the long term economic gains across the country”, the patriots concluded.