The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has assured Nigerians that the 25th of February General election must take place as planned despite growing tensions around currency and fuel shortages.
The INEC boss, Yakubu held a closed door meeting with Nigerian President Buhari and made the statement following the deliberations with the president.
He said.”Rest assured that the election will hold as scheduled, on the 25th of February for national (elections) and on the 11th of March for state elections.”
“The INEC chairman said that the CBN had assured them that elections would not be affected by the currency swap, without giving further details. Eighteen candidates are running for president, including Bola Tinubu of the ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party’s Peter Obi.”
The country’s Reserve and Central Bank has lately renewed and printed new banknotes, but the distribution of the new minted currency has been poorly distributed. Customers of local banks could not have access to the currency and the rest of other Nigerians could not get them.. The level of dissatisfaction among Nigerians is at an all time high.
In addition to the currency palaver, there is also scarcity of petrol at the Filling stations.
“New banknotes issued in December are part of a measure by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to crackdown on currency counterfeiting and ransom payments to kidnappers, as well reduce the volume of money outside the banking system. The deadline to swap old notes was initially the end of January, but due to a lack of notes available at banks, the CBN postponed it to February 10.”