The Co-Executive Director, Interfaith Mediation Centre, Kaduna State, Mohammed Ashafa has warned of an imminent revolt against the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), over the naira redesign policy.
He said the government must act fast to forestall the looming crisis, noting that if not well handled, the 2020 EndSAR protests that claimed several lives across the country would be child’s play.
Ashafa, a renowned Islamic scholar, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with our correspondents on the sideline of a one-day interactive session on ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment and Role of Leaders and Opponents,’ organised by Interfaith Mediation Centre with support from Development Research and Project Centre.
Interfaith Mediation Centre is a faith-based non-governmental organization Ashafa co-founded in 1995, working to end violent clashes between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.
According to the cleric, the naira redesign, which is not the first in the history of the country, has brought hardship on Nigerians.
He appealed to the federal government to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court and halt the naira swap with immediate effect or extend the deadline for another six months.
He warned that the government must refrain from anything capable of causing violence in the country as the 2023 general election approaches otherwise, “the 2020 EndSAR protests will resonate.”
Ashafa said, “I fear for Nigeria that we don’t have a second phase of the EndSAR protest in the name of financial crunch which the government deliberately inflicted on us. I fear that what happened in France in 1776 during the revolution will happen in Nigeria. Revolution may happen in Nigeria. We have seen people who attempted to commit suicide because they have the money, but they don’t have access to it.
“So, we are appealing to the government to come with a voice of reason so that what happened in Tunisia, Egypt won’t happen here.
“We don’t want bloodshed. It seems this policy is a deliberate intention of the formulators to cause confusion in the county.”
Meanwhile, the cleric while stressing the need for issue based politics ahead of the 2023 general elections, cautioned the political elite against what he termed “a do-or-die politics”, noting that “it(politics) should be a process that will help us to improve and enhance our lives.
“So, most of these politicians who believe in using force to get to power are those misusing and abusing vulnerable youths in the country,” he added.
Ashafa called on women to come out and participate in politics for empowerment, noting that “they are the people who deserve to encourage, work with her voices are silent and power voice.”
“We have seen many women across the world who have transformed their communities. Let women come out and engage politically, economically to change our nation for the better,” he added.