Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Thirteen out of 18 political parties in Nigeria, Monday threatened to boycott the forthcoming polls if the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, extends the deadline of February 10 for the old currency notes to cease being a legal tender.
The parties expressed suspicion that any further shift on the deadline for the currency swap would negate the very aim of the policy.
Declaring their full support for the naira re-design policy which they said would help curb vote buying, the coalition of political parties threatened to stay away from the general elections if CBN attempts to further shift the goal post in the midst of play.
They frowned that the original intent of the policy is now about to be sacrificed on the altar of political interest which they vowed to resist.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the redesign of the N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes, and the CBN for the policy, and urged them to resist any pressure to capitulate.
The parties flayed the Governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States for heading to the Supreme Court to get injunction to extend the deadline for the validity of three old notes.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on behalf of others, National Chairman of the Action Alliance, Kenneth Udeze, called on Nigerians to stand against the surreptitious activities of the cabal holding the country hostage.
He said that any further attempt to shift the deadline would be stoutly resisted.
“We hereby announce that at least 13 out of the 18 political parties in Nigeria will not be interested in the 2023 general election and indeed we shall withdraw our participation from the electoral process if this currency policies are suspended or canceled or if the deadline is further shifted.”
The CBN had on January 29, two days to the former January 31 deadline, announced extension of the deadline by 10 days.
However, the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara state have dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, seeking a restraining order to stop the full implementation of the naira redesign policy initiated by the Central Bank.
The three northern states in a motion ex-parte are urging the court to grant them an interim injunction stopping the Federal Government either by itself or acting through the CBN, the commercial banks or its agents from carrying out its plan of terminating the February 10 time-frame within which the now older versions of the 200, 500 and 1000 denominations of the naira would cease to be legal tender.
Ikengaonline reports that there is anger across the country over the hardship imposed on Nigerians following Naira scarcity and high cost of petrol.