President Bola Tinubu expressed his assurance on Thursday that the currency redesign policy implemented by his predecessor would not hinder his victory in the upcoming 2023 presidential election. The policy, introduced by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, aimed to minimize the influence of money in the general elections.
Many Nigerians believed that this policy specifically targeted Mr. Tinubu’s presidential aspirations, despite him being Mr. Buhari’s party candidate. Prominent ruling party members, such as Kano State’s then-governor Abdullahi Ganduje, publicly stated that the policy intended to weaken the party during the election.
The currency redesign policy involved the replacement of trillions of old naira notes with new ones for the highest denominations of the currency. However, introducing the new notes proved to be severely insufficient, resulting in a scarcity of naira and widespread hardship, particularly among the poor citizens who rely heavily on cash for their daily transactions. This caused immense suffering for millions of Nigerians and sparked concerns about the policy’s impact on the economy and people’s livelihoods. The dissatisfaction with the policy grew, and it was eventually suspended following a Supreme Court ruling just days before the general election.
After assuming office on May 29, Mr. Tinubu took action by suspending the main architect of the currency redesign policy, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele. The governor is currently under detention and being investigated by security agencies. This move by Mr. Tinubu demonstrated his commitment to addressing the concerns raised by the policy and its implementation.
During a Thursday speech in Ogun State, Mr. Tinubu expressed his confidence that the currency redesign policy would not impede his success in the upcoming general election. He remained resolute in his belief that the policy would not prevent him from emerging victorious in the electoral race.
According to the president, he invoked the spirits of wisdom and determination, symbolized by “Baba Emilokan,” to overcome the obstacles in the election.
“Our monies were confiscated. The cashless policy didn’t work; it was terrible then. I realized that I came to this palace to invoke the spirit of freedom which we are noted for.
“I invoked that spirit twice. The spirit of Baba Emilokan. That’s Baba. Being blunt, being decisive, that’s him; he will tell you. The second spirit is that money or no money (we will do the election, and we will win),” he said.
President Tinubu expressed his gratitude to Mr. Adetona, the monarchs, and elected officials, particularly his close friend Gbenga Daniel, the senator representing Ogun East. He acknowledged their loyalty and commitment during the crucial times of the 2023 election. Describing his visit to Ijebu-Ode as a homecoming, President Tinubu thanked the monarchs and expressed his appreciation for their warm reception and support. He extended his well wishes, hoping for their long lives and a prosperous Nigeria. Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga was also acknowledged, with pride in his contributions to the country’s economy.
During his visit to Abeokuta, President Tinubu thanked the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, for his reception and described him as a great leader. He reiterated his commitment to fulfilling his promises and appealed for prayers from the state’s citizens to ensure progress and stability in the country. President Tinubu reaffirmed his determination to bring victory and positive change, acknowledging the challenges and urging patience during the initial stages of transformation. He shared his experience as a refugee and emphasized the importance of preserving and cherishing the nation.
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State thanked President Tinubu for his visit, praising him as a man of uncommon grace and resilience. In separate remarks, Mr. Adetona and Mr. Gbadebo commended President Tinubu’s leadership and recognized him as an instrument of God chosen to rectify past shortcomings. They prayed for the president’s guidance and good health and urged Nigerians to support his administration.
The Akaraigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, commended President Tinubu for his exceptional start in the office and emphasized the need for urgent palliatives to address current challenges. He praised the administration’s wise decisions and reminded the president of his promise to bring development to Remo. Referring to their previous meeting, Oba Ajayi highlighted President Tinubu’s surprise at the level of development in Remo and encouraged him to fulfill that vision.