• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Shehu Sani insists naira redesign policy has put vote buyers in check

A clarion call for change: Prioritising devolution and electoral reform in Nigeria

Shenu Sani, a former senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, has insisted that the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will indeed curb the menace of vote buying in the February 25 and March 11 general elections.

Sani, who is also the President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, had aired his view on Channels Television’s “The 2023 Verdict” programme on Wednesday over the controversial naira redesign policy of the CBN.

“Well, as far as I am concerned, if there is any bank they should shut down, it’s not the commercial banks,” Sani said about the aggrieved state governors who threaten to take action against commercial banks that refused to take in the old notes.

“Go to the central bank branches in their state and let’s see how they can function, because a commercial bank received a directive from the Central Bank on what to do. They said they have been directed by the central bank not to receive the old notes, so go ahead and shut down the CBN branches in your state and let’s see how it would work,” he added.

Read also: Naira redesign: Policy affects politicians, vote buyers more than masses — Ozekhome

He explained that the cries from the governors were just about having so much of the old notes to share and not being able to distribute them on election day. “All this thing is about is that we have a stash of old notes waiting to be distributed on election day for people to vote,” he said.

He argued that this year’s election is likely to turn out differently. However, Sani added that despite the CBN cash policy, politicians were and would look for any means to buy votes—a reason why most of them are crying out now.

“There has never been any serious policy in which there is such a serious onslaught against vote buying as we are seeing it today. One policy that has kept everyone on their toes,” he said, specifically referring to vote buyers.

He added that this year’s election should be more about getting the right leader who has “the intelligence, the competence, and the experience to address our problem” than leaders without the needed abilities.

“But they know it’s all about money, and if they knew they had enough new naira notes, nobody would have gone to court,” he explained.

He explained that none of the major presidential candidates were concerned about buying votes because they had developed a strong selling point that did not necessitate vote buying. The problem, according to him, was with the governors, who he said feared falling out because of their inability to buy votes.