Buhari defends Emefiele, justifies naira redesign policy
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele and President Muhammadu Buhari
Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun
By Ayorinde Oluokun
Former President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday insisted that the naira redesign policy of former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Godwin Emefiele ensured that the 2023 elections were “cleaner”
This was one of the claims of the former President in a book titled “Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015 – 2023)”, written by former Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and presented in Abuja on Tuesday.
Many Nigerians had condemned the naira redesign policy which resulted in the scarcity of cash in bank halls and ATMs across the country for many months ahead of the 2023 elections.
Some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC had also argued that the policy affected the performance of the party in the 2023 elections.
Buhari who defended his decision to keep Emefiele in office for the eight years he was in power said only people who had too much money had problems with the naira redesign policy.
“The scarcity of money was not deliberately done to punish Nigerians. Democracy allows people to express their will, and we did not attempt to control them. People understood the implications of their choices, and we did not force them.
“There is no denying that the naira redesign policy gave us cleaner elections. It was people who had too much money that had problems with it.
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“When it was said that the new notes were not available, over N260 million was found with one bank chairman. Did I take on the Supreme Court on the issue? No, I could not have.
“Some APC governors went to court. I refused to judge people by my own standard, I am not materialistic, but it will be too much to expect all Nigerians to be the same way. It is not fair to condemn anybody, but it is up to them and their conscience. I want to continue to conduct myself with clear conscience, so that when I go to bed, I sleep off immediately”, the book read.
The President also said he didn’t sack Godwin Emefiele, ex-former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over his alleged move to contest presidency was because the former CBN Governor never discussed his ambition with him.
“I met Enefiele in office when I came, and unless there was firm evidence against him, it would be unfair and an act of injustice to remove him, acting on hearsay.
“If you punish a man unjustly, it could dog his footsteps throughout life, so if you would punish, you must have evidence and you should know that yourself wouldn’t be there forever. You would leave one day.
“I’m very conscious about the morale of people who serve with me. I also expect whoever succeeds me to be fair to me. I have family, friends, who will feel it. I’m very conscious of fairness.
“When he was linked with campaign for 2023 presidency, I did not ask him, because he told nobody he was getting involved. Otherwise, I would have removed him and told the nation why.