Former President Muhammadu Buhari has reignited the discourse surrounding the controversial naira redesign policy and the tenure of Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele. Buhari staunchly defends both Emefiele and the policy, offering insights into his decision-making process and the impact on the 2023 elections.
Defence of Godwin Emefiele:
Former President Buhari’s unwavering support for Godwin Emefiele, who served as the Central Bank governor throughout Buhari’s eight-year presidency, has raised eyebrows within the All Progressives Congress (APC). Some party members attributed the policy’s negative impact on electoral performance to Emefiele, questioning his handling of the currency transition.
Buhari, however, reveals in the memoir that he refrained from sacking Emefiele, despite alleged ambitions to contest in the 2023 presidential election. The former president emphasizes the importance of fairness and concrete evidence, stating, “If you punish a man unjustly, it could dog his footsteps throughout life.”
Naira Redesign Policy and Elections:
The controversial naira redesign policy, implemented just before the 2023 elections, triggered widespread criticism for causing cash shortages nationwide. Some accused the policy of disenfranchising voters and sabotaging the electoral process.
Buhari defends the policy, asserting that it facilitated “cleaner” elections by curbing vote-buying. He contends that the challenges faced were primarily by those with “too much money” and that the policy aimed to tackle illicit cash flows. Despite accusations of voter difficulties and claims that influential individuals circumvented the policy, Buhari maintains that it contributed to fairer elections.
Controversial Claims and Potential Skepticism:
Buhari’s claims of a positive impact on elections and the crackdown on illicit finance are likely to be met with skepticism and counter-arguments, particularly from opposition parties and civil society groups. Critics question the timing and implementation of the policy, highlighting the disparities in its impact on ordinary Nigerians and affluent individuals.
As Buhari’s book hits the shelves, it is anticipated to fuel discussions and debates over the controversial naira redesign policy, shedding light on the former president’s perspective and decision-making process during his tenure.