February 4, 2023

Naira, fuel scarcity plot to scuttle 2023 elections  – Ndigbo youth 

…As Niger Delta Youth seek extension of deadline 

By Ibrahim Hassan,Kaduna 

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has alleged there was a plot by some elements to scuttle the 2023 general elections and Nigeria’s democracy. 

The group said across the country, the citizens face severe difficulty in having access to the new Naira notes, just as a litre of petrol now goes for over N450. 00. 

“The development has thrown families into untold hardships, with the new notes now being sold,”the group said.

In a statement issued by the National President of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, he said the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, should take action before it is too late. 

“How do we explain a situation where our poor parents can no longer feed their children?

“How do we explain a situation where our sick relatives are left to die because there is no money to buy drugs whereas their money is trapped in the banks?”

“We can no longer keep quiet in this midst of this avoidable chaos. There is no doubt that the policy as rolled out by the CBN was a good one, but there is also incontrovertible evidence that the apex bank was ill-prepared for the smooth implementation.’

“This is why we warn that enough is enough. If the CBN cannot make the new notes available, it should extend the deadline beyond 10th of February and should allow the commercial banks commence circulation of the old notes pending such a time when the new notes would be available in the right quantity.”

“Anything short of this is an invitation to anarchy and avoidable chaos as Nigerians are running out of patience. Images and videos from across the country say it all,” the group said. 

They described as unacceptable the fuel crisis in the country which had persisted for several months despite assurances from the Federal Government. 

They wondered why petrol should be selling for as high as N500 per litre whereas the Federal Government said subsidy removal would take effect from June 2023. 

“The implication of all these is that some persons are desperately working to truncate the 2023 general elections. 

“We are beginning to see this as a grand-plot to throw the nation into an avoidable crisis and find reasons to postpone the polls. Let it be on record that Emefiele and the NNPC would be held responsible should anything happen to the country’s democracy,” the group said. 

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC) in a statement by Israel Uwejeyan,said it was appalled at the statement by the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and his presidential campaign council on the ongoing  CBN monetary policy.

The group said the policy “is causing an excruciating effect on Nigerians and small businesses. It is imperative that the CBN refrains from using monetary policies and execution timing as a political weapon for the benefit of some politicians, to the detriment of the suffering masses.”

“We understand the need for economic stability, but we also believe that the CBN must be mindful of the consequences of its actions on the masses. The scarcity of currency is affecting small business owners, killing start-ups and making life that was already difficult, worse for the average Nigerian through the inability to access their  hard-earned money for daily purchases.”

“We implore the Presidential campaign of the PDP to desist from taking advantage of the sufferings of Nigerians for their selfish political gains.The effects of this policy have resulted in a pervasive state of financial distress amongst our fellow citizens and it is imperative that this is immediately alleviated.”

“The PDP and its Presidential candidate should not use their lack of financial capacity to finance their election and lack of Goodwill of the populace to support an ill-timed and poorly implemented policy that is causing an untold hardship on the already exhausted citizens of this Nation.”

“We urge that the CBN must strive to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians and save thousands of small business by releasing newly minted naira notes into circulation and extending the deadline for the retirement of the old currency so as to ensure that citizens especially in the remote areas of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria, do not loss their hard earned money.”

“In conclusion, the NDYC is calling on the CBN to prioritize the well-being of the average Nigerian and to avoid engaging in political activities or playing politics with its policies and timing. The CBN must remain independent and neutral, and it must take a proactive approach in addressing the challenges faced by the economy and promote economic stability, while also ensuring that the average Nigerian is not unduly affected by its policies,” the group said.