NASS Declares CBN As Threat To 2023 General Elections 

National Assembly

The National Assembly on Wednesday declared that the most potent threat to the forthcoming 2023 general elections is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its badly implemented naira redesign policy.

The legislative arm of government made this known on Tuesday at a one-day special hearing on “The Extent of Implementation Of The Electoral Act, 2022 Ahead Of The Conduct Of The 2023 General Election,” held at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

Read Also: Aregbesola Laments Cumbersome Process To Acquire Nigerian Citizenship By Foreigners 

The lawmakers added that the current naira redesign policy could affect negatively, the conduct of the forthcoming polls while responding to comments by the Independent National Electoral Commission, which expressed fear over unending violence against its facilities in some parts of the country.

In his remarks, a member of the committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), said going by the problem of acute naira scarcity being faced by Nigerians, the CBN is the most outstanding threat to the elections.

He said the plan of selectivity of cash withdrawal INEC worked out with the CBN on Tuesday, was not assured as far as the smooth conduct of the elections was concerned.

Bamidele stated;

The CBN told us at the beginning of the policy that the targets were the so-called moneybags who stashed away billions in their closets. We thought those at the people they want to get at.

We are now seeing that it is the ordinary man on the streets suffering. They are sleeping in the banking hall because they cannot have access to the little money they have. We must understand the political economy of an electoral process.

People are thinking of the money politicians would spend on vote buying, they don’t know that political parties would also mobilize people to all the polling units as agents, just like the INEC would mobilise personnel also.

The Ekiti lawmaker further stated that all stakeholders must stand up in defense of our democracy.

Read Also: BREAKING: Supreme Court Stops Old Naira Notes Ban Stipulated For February 10

He added;

Today, the CBN is assuring Nigerians that it would provide money for INEC if they need more money. Are we saying that INEC must rely on the intervention of the CBN for it to perform? If the police run into logistics problems, they would also run to CBN for selective intervention.

We are fighting Boko Haram, so if the military authorities could not access funds from their banks, they will also need to approach the CBN for selective intervention. These are issues and as a stakeholder, the CBN is the most outstanding threat to these elections holding as scheduled.

The INEC should do its best. When the political class appears to have held the nation to ransom as it appears now, it is the judiciary that will have to stand up and save the nation from the jugular of the political class.

There is definitely, a cabal that does not want this election to hold but let us remind them those who call themselves the cabal, under president Olusegun Obasanjo, became irrelevant after that. Ditto for those who constituted themselves as cabals under late president Umaru Yar’adua and President Goodluck Jonathan.

Bamidele further added that the current situation shall also pass.

In her own submission, the INEC National Commissioner, May Agbamuche, who represented the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated that violence could affect the credibility of the elections especially if the attacks were targeted at INEC facilities.

She said;

With the General Election at hand, it is important to remind you all of the Commission’s commitment to free, fair, and credible elections.

Our preparation is however fraught with challenges, there is no doubt that violence and the threat of violence are major challenges to credible election im 2023, Violence makes deployment for elections difficult particularly where some of the attacks are targeted at INEC facilities the electoral process and participants.

Agbamuche, however, noted that the commission has been working with security agencies and other stakeholders to establish mechanisms to understand, track and mitigate security challenges.

She noted;

We are working collaboratively in the context of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.

In all, we feel assured by the actions we have taken and our collaboration with the security agencies. The 2023 General Election will proceed as planned. There is no plan to postpone the election.

Towards the 2023 general election, the commission has been joined in over 1000 Court cases as of Friday 6th January 2023 involving intra-party elections and nomination of candidates by political parties.



Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.