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Nigeria: 14 Political Parties Threaten to Boycott Elections If CBN Shifts Naira Swap Deadline

This follows the decision of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states to head to the Supreme Court in search of a deadline extention.

Fourteen out of the 18 registered political parties have reportedly threatened to boycott the general election if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extends the deadline for the use of old naira notes.

The apex bank fixed February 10 as the deadline for the use of old naira notes.

The CBN had initially fixed January 31 as the deadline but shifted it as many Nigerians were unable to access the new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.

Kenneth Udeze spoke on Monday at a press conference by the Forum of Chairmen of Nigerian Political Parties and the Forum of Candidates for the 2023 General Election.

Udeze, who is the national chairman of the Action Alliance (AA), said the deadline already fixed by the apex bank must not be shifted.

“We hereby announce our resolution that at least 14 0f the 18 political parties in Nigeria will not be interested in the 2023 general election and indeed we shall withdraw all our participation from the electoral process if these currency policies are suspended or cancelled or if the deadline is further shifted,” Udeze said.

The parties also knocked the Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara state governments for heading to the Supreme Court to get court injunction to extend the deadline for the validity of three old notes.

The governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara state have dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, seeking a restraining order to stop the full implementation of the naira redesign policy initiated by the Central Bank.

In the suits as plaintiffs are the three attorney generals and commissioners of justice for the three states, while the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is the sole respondent.

The three northern states in a motion ex-parte are urging the court to grant them an interim injunction stopping the Federal Government either by itself or acting through the CBN, the commercial banks or its agents from carrying out its plan of terminating the February 10 timeframe within which the now older versions of the 200, 500 and 1000 denominations of the naira would cease to be legal tende

His comments elicited criticism from the All Progressives Congress (APC), with the ruling party describing him as an “enemy” of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday asked Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis caused by the scarcity of new naira notes.

The president said he has seen reports about cash shortages and the effect on local businesses and ordinary people.

He said the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension will be used to crack down on the encumbrances mitigating the successful implementation of the currency redesign policy.

“I will revert to the CBN and the Minting Company. There will be a decision one way or the other in the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension,” the president said.

His position was made known after the APC governors had requested that the old and new notes should be allowed to co-exist.

However, Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic  Party (PDP), has however asked the CBN not to extend the deadline for the swap of the old notes.

This is as protests have broken out in various cities across the country, with many angry about the pains and hardship citizens are being subjected to in order to have access to the new notes.

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