From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A group of 14 political parties have threatened to boycott the general elections if the cash withdrawal limit introduced recently by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is suspended.
Under the aegis of Forum of Chairmen of Nigerian Political Parties and Forum of Candidates for the 2023 General Election, the group charged President Muhammadu Buhari not to extend the February 10 deadline for the phase out of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes.
The parties made their position known at a press briefing, yesterday, in Abuja where they endorsed the new cash withdrawal limit and February 10 deadline for the phase out of the old notes. The parties said the two policies would help enhance the credibility of this year’s polls.
The 14 political parties include National Rescue Movement (NRM), Accord, Action Alliance(AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Action Peoples Party (APP) amongst others.
National chairman, AA, Kenneth Udeze, who read a statement on behalf of the group accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of plots to orchestrate crisis as a result of the two policies.
“We hereby announce our resolution that at least 14 of the 18 political parties in Nigeria will not be interested in the 2023 general elections and indeed we shall withdraw all our participation from the electoral process if these currency policies are suspended or cancelled or if the deadline is further shifted. In fact, if these policies are implemented fully and without shifting the deadline of 10th February, 2023 date, President Muhammadu Buhari would have taken a very huge step closer to fulfilling his promise to the world that the 2023 general election would be credible, free and fair.
“We have intercepted very credible intelligence of a well-financed plot to instigate violent disturbances, incite and provoke civil unrest aimed at undermining the President and causing a shift in the election date or causing his administration to come to an abrupt end. We were approached to lend our support, generous promises were made but we believe that Nigeria comes first before any other mundane consideration,” Udeze said.
The forum while expressing confidence on the CBN over the two policies, warned commercial banks against creating artificial scarcity of the new Naira notes.
“POS operators, who are mostly agents of the banks cannot get money from the banks. ATM machines are not working, bank online applications are not now working yet CBN delivered enough cash to these banks,” Udeze said.