Nigeria: Naira Redesign Contributed to ‘Clean Election’ – Buhari

Former President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly defended the redesign of the Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections, stating that the policy resulted in what he calls a ‘clean election.’

Buhari made this assertion during the unveiling of the book “Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015-2023)” in Abuja.

LEADERSHIP reports that the book was authored by a former aide to Buhari, Femi Adesina.

Buhari spoke at length about the controversial Naira redesign and explained why he did not dismiss the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, when his posters for the presidency surfaced across the country.

He argued that it would have been unjust to sack Emefiele since the former CBN Governor did not inform him or any of his aides about his intention to contest the 2023 Presidency.

He also denies accusations of deliberately causing Naira scarcity to punish Nigerians, insisting it was an unintended consequence.

Buhari said: “The scarcity of money was not deliberately done to punish Nigerians, Democracy allows people to express their will, and we did not attempt to confront them. People understood the implications of their choices, and we did not force them”.

On the issue of Emefiele’s presidential campaign, Buhari clarifies that he didn’t ask Emefiele about his intentions because Emefiele kept his plans confidential.

The former president said, “I met Emefiele 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 heresay.

“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 am 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 Emefiele was linked with campaign for the 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.

“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. 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 standards. 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. I want to continue to conduct myself with clear conscience so that when I go to bed, I sleep off immediately.”

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