THE Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has warned that President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence on the Supreme Court judgment on the naira redesign policy could trigger anarchy.
The group’s Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu, said the Supreme Court ruling must stand irrespective of the policy’s benefits, as enunciated by the government.
Daily Trust reported that the ACF, in a statement on Sunday, averred that Nigerians had the right to spend the monies they legitimately earn.
The ICIR reports that the Supreme Court nullified the currency redesign on March 3, after governors elected on the ruling party – the All Progressives Congress (APC), approached the court to declare the policy nullity.
The government’s silence further worsens the pain Nigerians go through to transact and meet basic needs because the new notes which replaced the old ones are very few in circulation.
The ICIR reported how the CBN introduced the new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes on December 15, 2022, and made the old notes cease to be legal tender on February 10.
In one of its many reports on the hardship the policy has brought to people in the country, The ICIR reported how Nigerians went nude, fought in banks and engaged in other habits that counted as offences when things were normal.
Though Buhari directed that the old N200 notes be returned into circulation in a nationwide broadcast on March 8, the Supreme Court’s judgement of March 3 nullified the policy. The court ordered that both new and old notes be legal tender till December 31, 2023.
While most banks await President Buhari and the CBN’s reaction to the judgement, some banks issue the old notes, but many citizens reject them because the government did not authorize their use.
In its Saturday statement, ACF noted that “ten days is long enough time for the government to find its way towards complying with a court order which is central to the achievement of peace, order and good governance in the country. President Buhari is under oath to defend the constitution of Nigeria. As his long-term supporters, it will be remiss of us if we fail to warn that the much-touted benefits of the naira redesign can never justify the damage to his credentials as a democrat and a stickler for the rule of law.
“This is quite apart from the real possibility of the crisis morphing into a serious social disorder leading to the possible breakdown of law and order throughout Nigeria. We do not believe nor can we advise him to pay such a heavy price on account of a policy whose immediate goals are not entirely clear to a majority of Nigerians,”