The PUNCH reports that the apex organisation of all civil society groups in Nigeria have staged a protest.
The civil society groups under the aegis of Civil Society Central Coordinating Council, on Wednesday protested against the exparte order given by the Supreme Court, restraining the Central Bank of Nigeria and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), from terminating the use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 bank notes on February 10.
The CSOs called on Buhari to immediately consider issuing Executive Orders to bring to effect the policy terminal date as the Apex Court order did not restrain the exercise of the constitutional powers of the President.
The National Coordinator of the CSCCC, Obed Okwukwe, speaking at a news conference in Abuja said their rejection of the order was because it was an attack on credible elections.
The CSOs also took their protest with over 3000 followers to the headquarters of the CBN where they dropped a letter for its governor.
Okwukwe called on the Supreme Court not to yield its platform for such election riggers to have access to illicit cash to compromise the election.
The CSCCC further called on the supreme court to immediately vacate the order because the pronouncement would aid corrupt politicians to buy votes during the forthcoming polls, saying that it was “capable of derailing the credibility of the 2023 general election and ultimately truncate our most cherished democracy.”
Okwukwe said the Supreme Court must redeem its image immediately and show Nigerians that it is not deliberately against free, fair and credible elections bearing in mind some very controversial orders and judgments of the court in the recent past.
Speaking, he stated that “Civil society groups in Nigeria are ready to fully support both policies and it is on that strength that I have been empowered to inform Nigerians that the Nigerian Civil Society Community has passed a vote of confidence on the Naira Redesign Policy and the Cash withdrawal limit policy.
“This vote of confidence is also on the condition that the February 10 deadline is not shifted. It is based on the foregoing that we alert the security agencies that the protests planned to be held tomorrow, Thursday February 9, 2023 guised as protests against scarcity of the new Naira are indeed protests planned and organized to cause violence, destruction of public property, disruption of public order and arson.
“Quell the protests in the South West as it is part of the synchronized plot. The target is to reverse the policy where that fails force a shift in the election date or lead to uprising that will cause the administration to come to an abrupt end.
“Opponents of the currency redesign and cash withdrawal limit policies deadline are pushing for a shift of the February 23 general election.
“We have credible intelligence that those behind the campaign for shift in the deadline of the new currency redesign and cash withdrawal limit are now pushing that the 2023 general election be shifted.
“This evil idea will throw Nigeria into a constitutional crisis and lead to the collapse of constitutional democracy. Now these anarchists realizing they cannot win the general election are now looking for ways to destroy democracy and undermine President Buhari.
“These men who have benefited from President Buhari now want to destabilize and hurt our dear President and our democracy in their selfish bid of running errands for their new godfather in town.
“They have forgotten that without President Buhari some of them would not have legally or illegally made it to office they now occupy, now President Buhari looks small in their eyes and even without Buhari tenure expiring, these ungrateful power elements and betrayal characters are instigating people to destroy President Buhari and our hard-won democracy for the sake of their new master.
“What offence has President Buhari committed by saying he wants a credible election? Were these people not beneficiaries of credible elections in 2015?
“So why crucify our President who is committed to giving Nigeria an enabling environment for free and fair election.
Okwukwe while speaking declared that Nigerians will not accept any shift in the 2023 general election date and also any shift in the deadline for the currency redesign policy.
He challenged that people who are hoarding cash should “put their billions back to the bank or even let them open the cash warehouses containing those billions in Lagos, Kano, Imo, Zamfara, Kogi and share those billions to poor masses since they are now new lovers of the poor.”
He urged the President and the CBN governor to stand up to those resisting the deadline stating that “February 10 deadline date is sacrosanct, irreversible and irrevocable.”