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I was sure Buhari’s naira redesign policy would not prevent my electoral victory – Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu said Thursday that he was certain that the naira redesign policy of his predecessor would not stop Mr Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 presidential election.

The Muhammadu Buhari administration had announced that that policy would, among other things, limit the influence of money in the 2023 general elections.

Many Nigerians believed that the policy was targeted at preventing Mr Tinubu from becoming president despite being the candidate of Mr Buhari’s party. Some leaders of the ruling party, APC, such as then governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State publicly stated that the policy was meant to weaken the party during the election.

The policy involved the confiscation of trillions of old naira notes and replacement with new notes for the highest denominations of the naira.

However, the new notes were grossly inadequate leading to the scarcity of naira and suffering by millions of Nigerians, particularly the poor citizens, who rely on cash for their daily transactions.

The policy was only suspended after a Supreme Court ruling, some days before the general election.

Mr Tinubu, after his inauguration on 29 May, suspended the main driver of the policy, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, who is now under detention and being investigated by security agencies.

In his speech in Ogun State Thursday, Mr Tinubu said he was confident the policy would not stop him from winning the general election.

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“Our monies were confiscated. The cashless policy didn’t work, it was terrible then. I realised that I came to this palace to invoke the spirit of freedom which we are noted for,” he said.

Details of Mr Tinubu’s statement in Ogun was contained in a press release by his spokesperson, Dele Alake.

Read Mr Alake’s full statement below.

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, said he remained hopeful and optimistic about achieving victory in the last presidential election, despite the ineffective cashless policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The president spoke in separate remarks at the palaces of the Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, in Ijebu-Ode and Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in Abeokuta , during a thank-you visit to the Royal Fathers.

Reflecting on the challenges in the build-up to the 2023 presidential election, President Tinubu recounted his concerns about the confiscation of funds and the failure of the cashless policy, and how he had previously sought wisdom and guidance from Mr Adetona during his visit to the palace.

According to the president, he invoked the spirits of wisdom and determination, symbolised by “Baba Emilokan,” to overcome the obstacles in the election.

“Our monies were confiscated. The cashless policy didn’t work, it was terrible then. I realised that I came to this palace to invoke the spirit of freedom which we are noted for.

“I invoked that spirit twice. The spirit of Baba Emilokan. That’s Baba. Being blunt, being decisive, that’s him, he will tell you. The second spirit is that money or no money (we will do the election and we will win),” he said.

President Tinubu acknowledged that these spirits had been the driving force behind his service and expressed his gratitude to Mr Adetona, all the monarchs, elected officials, particularly his ‘personal friend’, Gbenga Daniel, the senator representing Ogun East.

 

He thanked them for their loyalty and commitment during those crucial times in the 2023 election.

The president, who described his visit to Ijebu-Ode as a homecoming, told the monarch:

“The way you have taken me, the way you have responded to me, all I can say is thank you. May you live long and may you witness a prosperous Nigeria.”

He also acknowledged the presence of Mike Adenuga, Nigerian billionaire businessman, and expressed pride in his contributions to the Nigerian economy.

During his visit to Abeokuta, President Tinubu thanked the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, for receiving him, describing him a great leader.

He expressed his commitment to fulfilling his promises and appealed for prayers from the citizens of the state to ensure progress and stability in the country.

“I have redeemed my pledge that I will come back with victory and the crown.

“The hope is recharged; the hope is here. That hope will never fail. That hope will recharge your lives in a positive manner.

“By the grace of Almighty God, we shall reap the fruits of our labour, Nigeria will see positive change, just endure these baby steps of pain.

“This country is the only one we have. I have been a refugee and I know what it means to be a refugee and my green passport is what I still have now.”

In separate remarks at the palaces of the Paramount ruler of Ijebuland and Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in Abeokuta, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State thanked the President for the visit to the state, describing him as a man of uncommon grace and a living testimony of resilience.

 

 

Chronicling the president’s antecedents as a visionary politician, the governor said the pronouncement of President Tinubu in the first few weeks in office had defined him as rightly prepared and qualified for office.

Mr Adetona and Mr Gbadebo, in separate remarks in their palaces, commended President Tinubu for his leadership, acknowledging him as an instrument of God chosen to rectify past shortcomings.

They offered prayers for the president’s guidance and good health, urging Nigerians to support his administration.

Also speaking, the Akaraigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, who commended the president for starting his administration exceptionally well, noted that the people need urgent palliatives to mitigate the effects of the current challenges.

He lauded the wise decisions so far taken by the administration, reminding the president of his promise to bring development to Remo.

”I remember when you came to the palace and all we said is our dream is for you to go and win the primaries, and that once you win the primaries, I’m sure that God will take us there. I’m glad that God took us there.

”I want to remind you of what you said when you came to Remo. You said with the proximity of Shagamu to Lagos, you were surprised at the level of development in Remo. This is the time Mr President to walk that talk,” he said.

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