Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) says political parties in the country favours no further extension of the window for the swap of old naira notes through the commercial banks, urging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set up mechanism for mopping up old naira note in the hands of rural dwellers after the February 10, 2023 deadline.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, umbrella body all registered political parties and political association said that “only politicians who have perfected plans to buy votes with the old notes are clamouring for further extension of the deadline for old naira note swap.”
The CNPP was reacting to the resolution by 14 political parties threatening to withdraw from the 2023 general elections if there was further extension of the swap deadline and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory’s restraining order on President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and 27 commercial banks from suspending the currency redesign policy of the federal government.
Justice Eneojo Eneche of the FCT High Court had in a ruling on an ex parte application brought by four political parties against the government and 27 commercial banks in the country, restrained the respondents from further extending the old naira notes swap deadline.
Urging Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used by corrupt and desperate politicians who do not mean well for the country, the CNPP argued that “the long term gains of the naira redesign policy and the entire cashless policy of the federal government outweigh any short term pain.
“Therefore, we urge the masses to bear with the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria as efforts are ongoing to overcome the current plot to sabotage the policy.
“We have seen the efforts of security and anti-graft agencies in arresting the economic saboteurs collaborating with a few unpatriotic politicians who are desperate to buy votes with the old notes by insisting on endless extension of the swap deadline.
“Their move to frustrate President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s cashless policy and its attendant benefits to the economy remains consistent with their intention to derail the 2023 general elections if they cannot buy votes or manipulate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do their bidding.
“The same elements had moved to remove the INEC Chairman for insisting on deploying technology for the conduct of the 2023 general elections, especially the use of the BVAS machines which are currently being reconfigured to ensure that over-voting in polling units is permanently eliminated, making rigging and ballot box stuffing a thing of the past.
“The CNPP calls on all well-meaning Nigerians, Civil Society Organisations, and patriots to remain resolute in the current fight for the soul of Nigeria through free, fair, and credible elections.
“Nigerian youths must be assured that once the right leadership is voted at all levels, the current pains and hardship will eventually become a tale of the past.
“It is time for the people to take their destinies in their hands. We stand with the order of Justice Eneojo Eneche restraining the federal government, CBN and commercial banks from, “stopping, extending or interfering with the currency redesign terminal date of February 10 or issue any directive contrary to the February 10 date.”
“The CNPP hereby urges the CBN to devise means of mopping up old notes from the rural communities in event that some rural farmers in the unbanked villages were unable to swap their old naira notes by February 10 deadline.
“Individuals and organisations who are unable to swap their old naira notes after the deadline should take their old notes to the CBN offices for exchange with the new notes at their face value as directed by the CBN”, the CNPP stated.