Events unfold at the speed of light in our clime. The nation seems to have become a busy police station where case booklets are opened every two hours. Statements from complainants fill complain books in hours.
When the funny statement that the security agencies were on the hunt of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, it was evident that something was in the offing. How could security agents invite the CBN boss for allegedly financing of terrorism?
I did not put a finger on the genesis of such ridiculous report until the CBN announced the redesign of the currency. It became obvious to bullion van politicians that the game has changed. There would be no cash for vote buying, their strong point in elections.
At that point, it dawned on every discerning observer that Emefiele was hung on the cross for a reason. He had plans to redesign the currency and the election mafia knew that such move detracts heavily from their strategy. When persuasions for him to back down fell on deaf ears, they planned to bring him down with the weird charge of sponsoring terrorism.
I dare say that the foregoing is my conjecture every evidence is pointing to as some of those political moves people make to get power. What those on the trail of Emefiele did not know was that the President had his back. He resisted every pressure until last Friday when he agreed to extend use of old notes by 10 days, and another seven days for old notes to be returned to banks. The aim is to make the monetary policy more efficacious. The payment of ransom by the ubiquitous kidnappers
The thing to take to bank is that old currency would have been history when the election starts. The new notes are so scarce that you cannot find them for the ritual of vote buying.
But everyone is paying the price given that people are forced to do transfers for which banks are smiling. But I do not know how people would buy foodstuff in the market through transfers. I know we would get there but we must find space for the unlettered market men and women who can hardly use their phones.
Former CBN governor who became the deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, drove every one into mobile banking, and people have since come to terms with that move. The implication is that everyone would adjust to a cashless society to which Emefiele rightly wants to railroad everyone.
But Nigerians would never get used to scarcity of petroleum products because of the attendant hardship. The current scarcity of premium motor spirit has, as usual defied explanation even when the government insists that it still pays subsidy. It is the irony of a nation, which imports what it produces.
Some states set up committees as though the committees would turn to fuel and fill the underground tanks of petrol stations. One presidential candidate whose handlers have had a hard time containing his countless gaffes says the foregoing are arrows to shoot down his presidential bid.
His managers have swung into action to do damage control. They say he did not mean his comment in the way it is being reported. But in these days of social media and live broadcasts, you cannot sweep anything under the carpet.
The matter has elements of complication because the presidential candidate of the ruling party would seem to be undermining his party in the event that the statement is linked to him, it would also imply that the ruling party has set hurdles for its candidate.
It has been said that Bola Ahmed Tinubu bulldozed his way to the party’s presidential ticket, perhaps against the will of some party big wigs, who swallowed the bitter pill at the primaries but bid their time to stop him at the crucial time. A house cannot be seen to be split down the middle and still stand.
The right politics is to do what is considered in the larger interest of the nation even if someone’s ox is gored. The President would not keep a blind eye to anything in a bid to pave way for his party’s candidate.
The groundswell of seeming opposition from within and public insinuations to that effect has made the Presidency issue media statements to assure the public that the President supports his part’s candidate. He may not be on the campaign tour as he was when he was on the ballot, and an Igbo adage says that strength nosedives as people add years to their age.
No one should expect a very senior citizen like the President to join campaign trains all the time. For all we know the President supports his party’s candidate but he would not stop the CBN from halting naira redesign, this would be the first in 19 years for an exercise that ought to have a five-year interval. Tinubu’s outburst in Abeokuta, the other day was akin to his famous Emi lo kan statement when it seemed the party ticket was slipping out of his fingers.