The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has warned that the worsening scarcity of the new naira notes and high cost of petrol, may snowball into chaos if urgent steps are not taken to address the situation. In a statement on Friday, National President of the group, Mazi Nnabuike, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should take immediate action before it is too late.
The statement alleged of a plot by some elements to scuttle the 2023 general elections and scuttle Nigeria’s democracy. Nnabuike said Nigerians were facing severe difficulties in accessing the new notes adding that the high cost of petrol which sells for N500 per litre has further worsened the situation as prices of everything has skyrocketed.
The statement lamented that the development has thrown families into untold hardships.
The group further warned that if nothing is done to ameliorate the situation, the EndSARS protest of 2021, would be a child’s play.
The group asked: “How do we explain a situation where our poor parents can no longer feed their children?
“How do we explain a situation where our sick relatives are left to die because there is no money to buy drugs whereas their money is trapped in the banks?”
The group said, “We can no longer keep quiet in this midst of this avoidable chaos. There is no doubt that the policy as rolled out by the CBN was a good one, but there is also incontrovertible evidence that the apex bank was ill-prepared for the smooth implementation.
“This is why we warn that enough is enough. If the CBN cannot make the new notes available, it should extend the deadline beyond 10th of February and should allow the commercial banks commence circulation of the old notes pending such a time when the new notes would be available in the right quantity.
“Anything short of this is an invitation to anarchy and avoidable chaos as Nigerians are running out of patience. Images and videos from across the country say it all”.
Nnabuike said the fuel crisis in the country which had persisted for several months despite assurances from the federal government was unacceptable.
He wondered why petrol should be selling for as high as N500 per litre whereas the Federal Government said subsidy removal would take effect from June 2023.
The statement noted that, “The implication of all these is that some persons are desperately working to truncate the 2023 general elections.
“We are beginning to see this as a grand-plot to throw the nation into an avoidable crisis and find reasons to postpone the polls.
“Let it be on record that Emefiele and the NNPC would be held responsible should anything happen to the country’s democracy”.