A civil society organisation, Journalists for Open Government and Inclusion, has called on the Federal Government to act responsibly and urgently to prevent the anger over naira scarcity from snowballing into uncontrollable civil unrest.
JOGI Executive Director, Yaqoub Popoola, advised the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to act as a true statesman and obey the Supreme Court verdict on the currency swap policy.
Popoola, in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Currency crisis worsening Nigeria’s poverty, insecurity, vote-buying records – Group’, said, “It is quite unfortunate that a government that is still battling with poverty and insecurity could allow the nation slide into chaos due to needless, irresponsible and Ill-conceived policy.”
The group urged the President to direct the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, “to respect the Supreme Court verdict on the matter and allow the old and new currency to float side by side in the open market.
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The group said that apart from leaving the impression of the pursuit of a hidden agenda at the detriment of the nation’s wellbeing, “with the untidy manner the CBN is going about the implementation of its naive policy, the level of vote-trading in the general election would be unimaginable.
“How on earth would a government deny the people access to their legitimate earnings and expect them not to be vulnerable to vote trading during elections? When you deliberately impoverish people, you are making them vulnerable to all forms of abuse.
“The worst form of corruption is disobedience to court orders.
“Again, any government that initiates a policy without a proper implementation plan and strategy is also indulging in corruption.
“As we speak, many banks in the country have been shut down due to fear of being attacked by angry residents.
“As a group committed to good and open governance, we want to use this medium to admonish Nigerians to remain calm, even in the face of this naked provocation.
We must not play into the hands of anti-democratic forces. May Nigeria succeeds,” the group said.