The Federal Government has slammed opposition political parties for dragging President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) to court in a move to stop the extension of the naira note swap deadline.
On Monday, 14 political parties had threatened to boycott the February 25 election should the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extend the February 10 deadline for the currency swap which it had earlier announced.
A high court of the Federal Capital Territory also restrained the President, the CBN, its governor, Godwin Emefiele and 27 commercial banks from suspending, stopping, extending or interfering with the currency swap terminal date.
However, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, speaking at the 23rd edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023), which featured the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Abuja, said that the political parties were not mindful of the plight of Nigerians due to the cash crunch.
He said, “Recall that after his (Buhari) meeting with the Progressives Governors’ Forum on Friday, President Buhari urged the citizens to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the naira redesign policy.
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“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 minister said the court actions by the parties are a clear evidence that the opposition has turned the naira crunch issue into a political game, preferring to make Nigerians suffer more on the altar of an unconscionable political gamesmanship.
“Or how else can one 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.
While hampering that it was bad politics to put the interest of political parties above that of Nigerians, Mohammed stressed that despite the antics of the opposition, the government was willing and able to take decisive steps to bring succour to Nigerians in the shortest possible time.
“Government is working assiduously to restore normalcy to these critical enablers of economic activity and to take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians,” the minister stated.