Naira Scarcity Created to Stop Tinubu From Winning Presidential Election: Gbajabiamila
The Nigerian House of Representative Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has alleged that the scarcity of Naira in the country is being done to stop former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu from winning the upcoming presidential election.
Speaking on Channels Television Sunday Politics, Gbajabiamila said:
- ‘What we are seeing is a manipulation of the market to make sure that Tinubu does not win the elections.'
- ‘The Naira is scarce around this period because it is the currency that is used for votes buying and logistic support for electioneering.'
- ‘Is it not intriguing that suddenly, the Naira is scarce? So, I do not understand why the Naira is scarce or why it is not made available.'
- ‘There must be some modicum of government policy involved in it and so, I think it is very important for the government to step in and be more proactive in managing the economy.'
Reactions to Gbajabiamila's Comments
Gbajabiamila's comments were met with mixed reactions, with some expressing their agreement with his statements and others accusing him of sensationalism and grandstanding.
Supporters of Gbajabiamila's comments believe that the Naira scarcity could be an orchestrated move to weaken Tinubu's chances in the upcoming elections and put incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in an advantageous position. They argue that the government should be more proactive in addressing the problem.
Critics of Gbajabiamila's comments, however, accused him of politicking and using the situation for sensationalism. They argued that the Naira scarcity is a matter of economic policy, and that the government has already taken corrective measures to address the issue.
The Naira shortage is a major concern for the Nigerian economy and has created hardship for many citizens. What Gbajabiamila has suggested is that the Naira shortage could be an orchestrated move to weaken Tinubu's chances in the upcoming elections, however, this is yet to be confirmed and his comments have been met with mixed reactions.
On 5th April 2021, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, declared that naira scarcity has been deliberately created to stop the All Progressives Congress’ (APC’s) National Leader, Bola Tinubu, from winning the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking at the Arewa House in Kaduna, Gbajabiamila believed that the scarcity of naira notes is a move of sinister intention to sabotage Tinubu’s presidential ambition. The Speaker particularly cited the case of the current scarcity of naira in circulation.
In response, the Federal Government has denied the accusations made by Gbajabiamila, instead blaming the lack of naira notes on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on the long duration of lockdown implemented by the Nigerian government in 2020.
Gbajabiamila did not stop at that. He went on to suggest that creating a scarcity of naira will lead to an increase in foreign currency, which will further incentivize corrupt public officials to deposit their illicit gains abroad.
The APC leader further noted that the cost of feeding a typical Nigerian family has gone up so drastically due to inflation that it has become impossible for many to survive. This has in turn denied millions of citizens the right to food.
Finally, Gbajabiamila concluded by appealing to all political actors to desist from undermining democracy, as the stability of the country is of utmost importance and should be safeguarded at all times.
The accusations made by the Speaker of the House have raised, yet again, the issue of naira scarcity in Nigeria, and brought to light many of the concerns of Nigerian citizens. As Nigeria moves towards the 2023 presidential elections, it remains to be seen what actions the government will take to ensure the availability of adequate naira notes for the wider population.