Get Latest Tori News Alert!
Enter your email below.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Hot Stories
Recent Stories

Naira Crisis Threatening Polls, Says REC

Posted by Samuel on Wed 15th Feb, 2023 -

The commission warned that if nothing was done to address the cash crunch caused by the policies, it would be difficult to deploy staff and materials for the election, fuelling speculations that the elections may be postponed.


The Independent National Electoral Commission has issued a warning, with less than 10 days to general elections.

The INEC, on Tuesday warned that the cashless and currency swap policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria have constituted a major challenge to the election exercise.

The commission warned that if nothing was done to address the cash crunch caused by the policies, it would be difficult to deploy staff and materials for the election, fuelling speculations that the elections may be postponed.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Federal Capital Territory, Yahaya Bello, provoked the fear during the North-Central stakeholders round-table meeting on the 2023 election, organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy.

According to him, apart from the cash challenge, INEC was prepared for the election as it had taken delivery of 80 per cent of the materials for the polls and trained staff ahead of the exercise.

Bello said, “Honestly, I don’t see challenges because the commission has made a lot of preparations. A lot of materials have already been got. We have done some training. We are doing more training. We have made a lot of consultations with stakeholders. A lot of materials have been dispatched to the area councils.

“When you talk about the challenge, sincerely, the challenge to this election as we are going about now in the FCT and by and large, I believe all over the nation, is the cash policy.

“If there is any challenge for me now, conducting this election is to wait and hear the outcome of the discussion and the brief from my the commission’s  chairman for whatever they have discussed with the CBN and other authorities with regards to this policy. We are ready for this election.”

Elaborating on how the CBN naira policy might negatively impact on the elections, the REC continued, “Before the election day, we are going to deploy the services providers. On the night of Friday (day before election) in the FCT, we have more than 12, 000 ad hoc staff that we are going to give cash, none of them will receive a cheque or accept (electronic) transfer.

“Also, those who are going to transport our men, materials and security to the polling units, they will need cash to do that. In Kano we have 44 local government areas, they are going to move to how many polling units?

“There is money for security, because you cannot take a security person to a polling unit without giving him money to eat and I don’t see the N1,000 you have given to him, he will go to the POS and withdraw it.”

The Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi, advocated that the peace accord signed by politicians be made a legal document that people could use to hold politicians to account.

Nwadishi said, “At the last count, there had been about 50 incidents and attacks in 15 states of the federation.  In January 2023 alone, according to a recently published report, by the Global Rights’ Incident Centre for Election Atrocities, there were 19 attacks on politicians and politically-exposed persons; 30 politically-motivated killings; six attacks on political party rallies; 15 politically-motivated abductions and five attacks on government facilities and police stations.

“It is important at this juncture to remind the politicians of the Peace Accord that they voluntarily signed. This has become important as the heat of the elections and campaigns have intensified,” she said.

The Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Ahmed Audi, represented by the Commandant (Special Duties) Headquarters, Oliver Ugwuja, said the organisation had been restructured for better service delivery.

He said, “As we speedily count down to the general elections, I assure you and the general public that the corps is more than ready and prepared to play her roles and work with other security agencies particularly the police, which is the lead agency, to ensure the success of the elections.”

But despite the national outcry against the hardship being visited on Nigerians in the aftermath of the CBN policies, a total of 472 civil society organisations on Tuesday expressed their support for the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The encouraged the CBN governor not to back down on the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

While advising him to remain resolute in his mission to enthrone a sound economic policy for Nigeria, the CSOs alleged that some state governors were mopping up the currency for selfish reasons.

The CSOs, under the aegis of Civil Society Central Coordinating Council, at a press conference in Abuja, claimed that Nigerians had started seeing the dividends of the new naira policy.

The National Coordinator of the CSCCC, Obed Okwukwe, who read the prepared text of the media conference, said the scarcity of the new naira notes was as a result of sabotage by state governors who were allegedly mopping up the currency from circulation.

Okukwe said, “These governors have vowed that this policy will not see the light of the day. They are willing to go the extra mile including making our country ungovernable and undermining constitutional governance.

“We have uncovered a grand plot by 10 governors who have resolved to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Muhammadu Buhari if he refuses to reverse the new naira policy.”

Top Stories
Popular Stories

Stories from this Category
Recent Stories