By Muhammad Sabiu, Kaduna
The Joint Front of Civil Society Organizations of Nigeria (JFCSON) has said the 10 days extension of currency swap is utterly harsh on the masses as they bear the brunt of the scarcity of the naira.
In a statement issued by the National President, Barnabas Bala Yock and made available to Tribune Online on Friday noted that it observed that it followed developments since October when the Central Bank of Nigeria under its Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced a controversial policy of naira notes redesign.
“We watched how Emefiele insisted unnecessarily on the imposition of an unreasonable, unrealistic time frame of 30 days for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender, in total denial of the obvious national deficiency in the necessary technological infrastructure for the process.
“This was followed by another announcement by the CBN of a cash withdrawal limit of just 20, 000 a day which was later reviewed to 50,000 following a spontaneous national backlash.
” We note also Emefiele’s rigid insistence on the implementation of these harsh, inhuman and insensitive cash policies to a point of neglecting their widespread rejection by the vast majority of Nigerians including the National Assembly and all state governors.
“We note the patriotic intervention of the ruling party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose courageous outburst exposed a sinister agenda for the destabilization of the nation and consequent scuttling of a smooth transition to a freely and fairly elected successive administration.
The statement noted that this intervention succeeded in forcing the CBN Governor and his collaborators to recant and adjust the naira swap deadline by another 10 days.
“It has also exposed a grand connivance between the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and a clique in the Presidential Villa to execute this diabolical scheme.
” The intervention by Tinubu was generally welcomed by all, except the PDP and its presidential candidate whose personal wealth and personal ambition remained tied to the continuation of decay and destruction of a nation and a people.
” Atiku’s recent remarks opposing the extension of the deadline for the swap, and PDP’s challenge to the Asiwaju patriotic intervention have confirmed that Atiku and the PDP are part of the dangerous collaboration to tamper with due democratic processes and bring about greater conflict that will derail the system.
“We find it quite unfortunate, unbecoming and unstatesmanlike, unforgivable and unacceptable for Atiku, a man who has spent most of his life asking Nigerians to trust him with leadership to be among those encouraging policies that potentially affect negatively, the lives and livelihoods of the same people he seeks to rule.
To this end, “We condemn and reject the evil collaboration to deliberately derail the nation’s hard earned democracy, with the imposition of harsh unrealistic policies by a calculated design to continuously weaken the masses of the people and pauperize them economically.
“We reject the mean 10 days extension of the deadline for the currency swap and the inhuman cash withdrawal limit.
” We condemn the open support for these policies by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“We call on Nigerian voters to note those political office seekers and to remember those who stood with and by the people and those who attempted to take advantage of the people’s weakness by supporting the imposition of harsh economic realities on the nation.