Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in his January 16th speech seemingly written for him during the national broadcast defended his administration’s currency redesign policy, that is currently causing hardship for millions of Nigerians.
President Buhari gave approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation, while old N500 and N1000 are no longer legal tenders.
By doing this President Muhammadu acted as an authoritarian as he openly barked that he is overruling the Supreme Court order that says each old note should temporarily remain a legal tender.
The Supreme Court in a temporal ruling before Buhari’s broadcast had ordered that CBN continue to recognize the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes as legal tender until February 22, when the parties return to court.
The president did not only dismiss the order from the supreme court, but he also became a political and economic antagonist to his own party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership especially the presidential candidate who sided with the court’s position on old notes.
In the same speech he oddly stated that "every citizen therefore should go out to vote for their candidates of choice… “. So, I ask, what type of bias is this man sending to Bola Tinubu and Nigerians?
While the people have seen the President at campaign gatherings for APC presidential nominee Tinubu and raising his hand up as sign of support and saying he should be voted in the presidency, strangely in a national speech to the country he could have used this opportunity to reach many voters.
Many remember the words of Barack Obama while serving as U.S. president campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2016, using these words over and over, 'She Made Me a Better President'. Buhari could have said almost the same thing: 'He made me a President; he helped me get there'. ‘Nigerian vote for Him'. ‘Nigerian vote for Him’.
Instead Buhari said Nigerians go out and vote for whoever you like. Unbelievable.
I need to quickly add here that I support whoever the people choose, and he is rightly declared, Obi, Tinubu, or Atiku, my point here is the open authoritarian and lack of firmness of Buhari to his party presidential candidate.
I am beginning to think that the part of the speech (vote your conscience, which generally is ok) was sneaked into the speech by what is known as the ‘cabal’ in the Presidency who according to Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje are working against the presidential candidacy of Tinubu.
As I write this just like Buhari ignored orders from the supreme court on the use of all old currency, as his Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele did earlier, governors like El-Rufia, Muhammad Abubakar of Jigawa State, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, also defied the President on this matter, therefore deepening a political and judicial crisis already on.
Could it be that in Aso Rock Villa (presidential workplace) the president a northern as well as many elements in the Aso Rock who are mostly northerners are inherently not backing Tinubu, a member of their party, but backing a northern the presidential candidate of the opposite party, PDP flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar?
Could these same powerful persons purportedly wielding strong influence in the Buhari presidency be the one that tried to bring in Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan the President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan as a “consensus presidential candidate“ in order to retain power in the Northern region in 2023 and keep enjoying their influential positions in one way or other?
Since they have the seeming influence controlling state affairs from the police to the military, could the voters on election day experience the #EndSARS hammer and mayhem via police and military's attack against targeted voters?
It is important that all these national crisis or troubles that continue to shake the foundation of Nigeria’s young democracy be expected to be resolved by the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land and the only part of the federal judiciary specifically required by the Constitution to ultimately speak for the people.
This may be hard with the supreme court recently acting shameless and some of its members acting more like judicial legislators as we saw in the cases of Ihedioha vs. Uzodinma and Lawan vs. Machina. The Court is continuously losing the confidence and respect of the Nigerian people.
No wonder President Buhari counted them on matters of Naira (Nigerian currency) usage by subtly telling them, to hell with you, go and deal with your judicial hypocrisy.
With all that is happening around the country in the last few days, this presidency, and Chief Justice Olukayode Ariwoola's supreme court track record on democracy at this time remains abysmal and continues to threaten the democratic stability of the place called Nigeria.
Let's hope that as Nigeria faces these current serious crises that on February 25th, 2023, peaceful, free, and fair elections will occur, and the rights of the average Nigerians will not be endangered.
What I call a military type of democracy is what we appear to have now under Buhari, let's be careful, as some current happenings could reinforce the (false) notion that the military and the police have the obligation and ability to intervene in Nigeria's domestic politics.
Nigeria needs to keep moving forward democratically. Peace is what we need currently. While outside nations should not interfere in our domestic affairs of Nigeria, they cannot allow any political, religious, and ethnic animals to endanger a young growing democracy. So, the like of the G7 bloc of industrialized democracies—the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom—cannot look away from Nigeria.