Buhari passes the buck as Nigerians battle cash crunch
Written by Taiwo Adekola on March 15, 2023
Ten days after the Supreme Court extended the legal tender status of the old N200, N500, and N1, 000 notes until December 31, the Central Bank of Nigeria reluctantly announced its compliance with the judgment in a late Monday night statement.
It added that the decision was taken during a bankers’ committee meeting in compliance with ‘the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law.’ The directive signaled the end of the untold hardship faced by Nigerians for the past three months.
But the arrogant defiance of the order of the apex court, and insensitivity to the hardship occasioned by the thoughtless and poorly implemented naira redesign policy marked a terrible denouement to the eight years of the Muhammadu Buhari regime.
Apparently taking a cue from the President who has over the years displayed utter disregard for court orders despite pretensions to the rule of law, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, withstood public pressure, ignored appeals and also scorned threats of a contempt charge in open resistance to reason and the law. The CBN’s delayed action on the apex court judgment is the icing on Buhari’s disrespect for judicial orders.
In the three months, the battle against the CBN policy lasted; there was acute scarcity of cash across the country which resulted in riots, the destruction of businesses and property and the death of many citizens.