Nigeria’s minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has taken a swipe at the nation’s opposition political parties for asking to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria and its governor Mr Godwin Emefiele, from stopping, extending or interfering with the redesigned naira notes swap deadline.
This is coming after 14 opposition political parties got a Federal High Court order on Monday to restrain the defendants from extending beyond February 10 the deadline for the old banknotes to cease to be legal tenders.
Mohammed, in a reaction on Tuesday, accused the parties of politicising the situation.
In a meeting with governors of the All Progressives Congress last Friday, President Buhari had urged Nigerians to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency scarcity issue that thrown the economy into crisis.
“Unfortunately, on Monday, some opposition political parties ran to court to obtain an injunction restraining Mr President and the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones,” the information minister said during the 23rd presidential scorecard presentation in Abuja.
The parties had threatened to boycott the February 25 election should the central bank extend the February 10 deadline for the currency swap, a threat the ruling party wished away.
Mohammed said it was difficult to “explain the fact that these unscrupulous opposition parties do not want any action that could reduce the pains being experienced by Nigerians”.
“How else can one explain the fact that they have decided to legally hamstring Mr President, in particular, from providing any relief for Nigerians suffering from the cash crunch?” he said.
The minister said the action of the parties concerned was clear evidence that the opposition has turned the issue into a political game, preferring to make Nigerians suffer more on the altar of an unconscionable political gamesmanship.