.Reveals President worried about problem associated with cashless policy
.Stresses Tinubu, Buhari’s preferred successor, is not opposed to currency swap
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Presidency has formally reacted to insinuation in some quarters that interim national government is being planned for the country ahead of the May 29, 2023 hand over date, saying there is no iota of truth in the speculation.
Rather, it stated that the elections scheduled for February 25 and March 11 will go on and winners declared in line with stipulated guidelines.
The Presidency in a statement entitled ‘Stop the Joke About Interim Government, Election Will Hold’, issued on Friday by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, emphasised that President Buhari was at no time working towards having any interim government and never made any move to truncate the nation’s democratic process.
It stated that the rumour is being peddled by politicians who are afraid of losing during the forthcoming general elections.
The Presidency noted that the recent currency swap has put a lot of pressure on the system including the election process leading to President Buhari consulting widely on how to solve the problem associated with the currency policy and move forward.
It added that hands are on deck to ensure that the elections go on as scheduled and winners declared in line with provisions of the Constitution and the electoral act.
The statement stressed that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is the prefered successor of President, is not against tge currency swap policy of the present administration.
The Presidency, according to the release, stated, inter alia:
“Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda Chief of Adolf Hitler said ‘‘Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth’’. This was in the 1930s, before the internet was birthed.
“Let us clearly, specifically and emphatically state that there is absolutely no truth to the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is working towards an interim government or even worse, the truncation of democracy- democracy that he has helped to keep alive not only here at home, in West Africa but throughout the continent.
“The talk of interim government and truncation of democracy is way off the mark. Those who peddle it stand to gain nothing- nothing at all -but the creation of panic and the incitement of the public against the federal government.
“It is another dangerous dimension by people who are afraid that they may lose their elections.
Everybody is aware that there is a lot of pressure on everyone-all of us- the party, its elected officials, its candidates and law enforcement agencies following the way the currency swap has gone but the way to go is not to panic.
There is indeed a problem and nobody will pretend that it doesn’t exist.
“It is precisely because the President is concerned with this problem that he opened several avenues for consultation with leaders and groups across the country, culminating in his broadcast to the nation on Thursday morning.
In line with the speech, his clear and unequivocal directive is that the problem of cash supply must be addressed without delay.
“While this is being done, there is no need to panic. We need to work together as leaders; as a people and as one nation. When panic hits, people go into overdrive. Shouting helps no one because no one can listen.
“The solution to the problem is not in sending Nigerians into confusion.
Elections, just a week ahead, will hold and Nigerians will vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, (and any others if they so wish) on the basis of their choice.
“Our people want progress, good governance, law and order and will not be swayed by the negative energy that is being expended against a well-meaning currency change.
“Finally, to state that: the President clearly has a favoured successor in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is not in doubt.
“The fact that Tinubu has been opposed to the speed and timing of the Naira swap timetable does not mean he is against the idea of Nigeria becoming a cashless society. Of course, Tinubu does support a cashless society: for he is a man of the future.
“What should be made crystal clear to the doubters and the speculators and the untruth-tellers is that in no way was the naira swap “engineered” to keep the President in office beyond May 29. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The President looks forward to handing over the reins of power to his elected successor. This will happen on May 29, 2023 as the Constitution requires it.
“The days of unelected Nigerian leaders, and those who outstay their welcome by unconstitutionally extending it, have gone.”