Gumi condemns redesigning of naira notes, says kidnappers may resort to dollars for ransom payment


Kaduna based controversial islamic cleric,, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has condemned the redesigning of some naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying that it may force kidnappers to start demanding for ransom payment in dollars.
The CBN had on October 26, announced the redesigning of N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
However, in a statement released on his Facebook page on Saturday, Gumi who has been championing for negotiations with kidnappers, said starving kidnappers of naira will make them resort to demand for dollars and other hard currencies.
Gumi maintained that “the policy was clearly anti-people as it is ill-timed for a government that is winding up to take such measures”.
According to him, the policy will only make the poor people suffer more as they don’t go to a bank to make transactions like the rich.
He said, 80 per cent of Nigerians, especially the rural dwellers depend on cash transactions, noting that a sudden change to a cashless or cash-starved society will mean pauperising them in a short time which can trigger unprecedented socio-economic turmoil.
“People that sell goods will tell you that most Nigerians don’t have the money to buy things; therefore most traders are running at a loss and are already folding up.
“At this junction, anything that can cause more cash crunch will be a disaster for the nation.
Speaking further, Gumi lamented that,
“Many good ideas are marred by wrong timing. This is likely to be another one. No matter how ingenious the hatchers may romanticise, the benefit will remain phantom since the reality on the ground is incongruous and it spells doom for the escapade.”
He said, the government did not consider the pros and cons of its activities, which, according to him, “are largely haphazard, not well thought through, and worst still clumsily executed.”
He argued further that “mopping the cash from the populace as it claims to swell commercial banks will give an unfair advantage to a few people that control the banks against the greater population.”
He said, “As for the North which is poorly represented in the banking system, it’s a sure economic suicide. “How many Nigerians have access to banks? How many do have the privilege to enjoy the most simple of banking loans?
“You need to know someone to get a loan is no news. In such a Nigeria, with this tight control of cash flow, the nation is treading towards communism and dictatorship. What we need is a free market-driven economy with minimal cash flow control.
“As for the question of starving kidnappers of Naira, it goes without saying that they will resort to Dollars and other hard currencies which will further put more pressure on it making the rotten situation worse.
“Kidnapping can only be stopped by robust policing, social justice for all, and equitable wealth distribution. Any cosmetic measures will not stop it.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here