Former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress [APC] Adams Oshiomhole said President Muhammadu Buhari was tricked into approving the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira redesign policy.
Oshiomhole, while speaking on a political programme on the Channels Television on Sunday night, Oshiomhole said that the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, took advantage of the president’s zero tolerance for corruption to convince him to approve the policy.
He said: “The policy of CBN to redesign the naira is senseless… CBN betrayed Buhari and the intention behind it was to stop the elections.
“Having served as [APC] chairman, which allowed me to work directly with the president, I know the trick that CBN played.
“We have a president who told the world that if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.
So, I can surmise that with the approval that the President said he gave, I believe CBN deceived the President by exaggerating the need for a corruption-free campaign as if elections were the only project for which the President was responsible.
“I am shocked that the CBN can continue with this insane policy.
This is not the idea of changing the currency, this governor has not broken any new ground because we have changed the currency before and I dare him to check the record.
“When General Buhari changed the color of the Naira in his first term as military head of state, he didn’t forbid banks to pay people with the new notes, nor did he impose limits on the amount you can withdraw, provided that Yes this is your legitimate money.
“Assuming that every Nigerian is corrupt…and that this policy is designed to curb corruption, then the CBN is not the body responsible for ensuring free, fair and credible elections.”
Oshiomhole echoed El-Rufai’s claims, stressing that the redesign of the naira was not meant to stop abuses as alleged by the CBN governor, but to shorten electoral processes.
The former APC National President said: “I think what Al-Rufai is saying is that when there is a mass of riots and protests here… you may find yourself in a situation where you have no choice.”
CBN announced the new naira banknote policy on October 26, 2022 and initially set January 31 as the deadline for using old banknotes, but later extended it to February 10.