ADAMS Oshiomhole has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of deceiving President Muhammadu Buhari over the redesign of the naira notes.
President Buhari last year approved the redesign of the N1,000, N500, and N200 notes. The move, has, however, created hardship among Nigerians who battle to lay hands on the new notes as the February 10th deadline for the currency swap inches closer. In the wake of the naira swap crisis, the CBN maintained it won’t extend the deadline.
But Oshiomhole has faulted the policy, describing it as senseless and a plot by the apex bank to scuttle the general elections. According to him, the bank sold an anti-corruption motive to the President which made him approve the policy.
“So, I can guess – I was not there – that in obtaining the approval, I believe the CBN deceived the President by amplifying the need to have corruption-free electioneering as if election is the only project this President has a responsibility for,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s election programme The 2023 Verdict on Sunday.
He claimed that the CBN sold to the President that a redesigning of the naira notes would curb vote buying and thus catch corrupt politicians off guard.
“The President Buhari that I know will have no difficulty in agreeing,” he said, arguing that the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele “knows better than that”.
Away from this, Oshiomhole claimed the apex bank had other motives.
“You could see that the intention of the Bank is not to eliminate abuses but to stop the elections from taking place,” he said.
According to him, the move was meant to cause unrest, shift the government’s attention and ultimately make the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lose the elections.
“If you have riots like you had in Ibadan and Benin – I don’t know anywhere else – and they were taking place simultaneously, and you are now dealing with the issue of protecting lives and properties, will elections become a priority?” the APC chieftain quizzed.
“So, it is in that context that whoever scuttles the elections would have scuttled the chances of the APC winning the election.”