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Buhari Credits Naira Redesign for “Cleaner” 2023 Elections in Memoir



DiasporaDigitalMedia gathered from the recently released memoir that former President Muhammadu Buhari defended the controversial naira redesign policy implemented by ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, claiming it contributed to “cleaner” elections in 2023. Buhari’s stance was detailed in the book “Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015 – 2023),” authored by former Special Adviser Femi Adesina and presented in Abuja on Tuesday.

The naira redesign policy faced criticism from Nigerians due to cash scarcity in bank halls and ATMs in the lead-up to the 2023 elections. Some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) argued that the policy negatively impacted the party’s performance.

Buhari, who served two terms as president, defended the decision to keep Emefiele in office for eight years, asserting that those who faced challenges with the naira redesign policy were individuals with excessive wealth. He clarified that the scarcity of money was not intended to punish Nigerians and emphasized the democratic principle of allowing people to express their will.

In the book, Buhari addressed the implications of the naira redesign, stating, “There is no denying that the naira redesign policy gave us cleaner elections. It was people who had too much money that had problems with it.”

The former president highlighted an instance where over N260 million was found with a bank chairman when claims were made about the unavailability of the new notes. Despite facing challenges and criticism, Buhari did not take legal action, illustrating his commitment to maintaining a clear conscience.

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Additionally, Buhari explained why he did not dismiss Emefiele when speculations arose about the CBN governor’s interest in the 2023 presidency. He clarified that he did not have any evidence against Emefiele, and removing him without proper justification would be unfair and an act of injustice.

The book revealed Buhari’s conscientious approach to leadership, stressing the importance of fairness and consideration for the morale of those serving in his administration. Buhari concluded that his decision not to interfere in Emefiele’s alleged presidential ambitions was based on the lack of information from the CBN governor regarding his involvement in the 2023 campaign.

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