In preparation for closet compromise for Emefiele’s freedom,Buhari defends fmr CBN governor on Naira redesign

Former President Muhammadu Buhari has stoutly defended the redesign of the Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections, claiming that the policy gave the country what he calls ‘clean election’ but did not elaborate what it means.


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Buhari’s position is contained in a new book: Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015-2023), which was unveiled in Abuja by President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday.

In the book, Buhari spoke on elaborately on the controversial Naira redesign and why he did not sack the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, when his posters for the presidency of Nigeria, hit the country physically and in the media.

Buhari said it would have been wrong for him to sack Emefiele since he did not inform him or any of his aides that he was contesting the 2023 Presidency.

The former President also made it clear that the Naira scarcity which has persisted till date, was not deliberately done to punish Nigerians, as wrongly insinuated by some persons.

Buhari said: “The scarcity of money was not deliberately done to punish Nigerians, Democracy allows people to express their will, and we did not attempt to confront them. People understood the implications of their choices, and we did not force them.

On why he did not sack Emefiele when he brandished campaign buses across the country as a presidential aspirant in 2023, Buhari said he could not do so because the former CBN Governor never told him he was running for the highest office in the country.

The former president said, “I met Emefiele in office when I came, and unless there was firm evidence against him, it would be unfair, and an act of injustice to remove him, acting on hearsay”.
“If you punish a man unjustly, it could dog his footsteps throughout life, so if you would punish, you must have evidence. And you should know that yourself wouldn’t be there forever. You would leave one day.

“I am very conscious about the morale of people who serve with me. I also expect whoever succeeds me to be fair to me. I have family, friends, who will feel it. I’m very conscious of fairness.

When Emefiele was linked with campaign for the 2023 presidency, I did not ask him, because he told nobody he was getting involved. Otherwise, I would have removed him, and told the nation why.

“There is no denying that the Naira redesign policy gave us cleaner elections. It was people who had too much money that had problems with it. When it was said that the new notes were not available, over N260 million was found with one bank chairman. Did I take on the Supreme Court on the issue? No, I could not have.

“Some APC governors went to court. I refused to judge people by my own standards. I am not materialistic, but it will be too much to expect all Nigerians to be the same way. It is not fair to condemn anybody, but it is up to them and their conscience. I want to continue to conduct myself with clear conscience. I want to continue to conduct myself with clear conscience so that when I go to bed, I sleep off immediately,” the former President said in the book.

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