The present quagmire over the cash scarcity in Nigeria is worrisome, yet the federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari seems to be lackadaisical about it. The question being asked by many Nigerians is: Why is the government not taking swift action to solve the problem?
The present situation of scarcity of the new naira notes is like death that has no deference for anyone. The opulent and the average people are now equal, both maintain queues in banks, waiting to withdraw money from the Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Having humongous amount of money in the bank without having access to it due to the the scarcity of the new naira notes or indispensable ATM is disheartening and it is the primary problem being encountered by the affluent as well this time around.
Indubitably, the problem in discourse has prevented a lot of people from providing for their families’ and personal needs. It is an understatement to say people are suffering and smiling; the people are really suffering. The changing of the naira notes has created more harm than good for the people and to the economic condition of the country as well.
Sadly, I heard of a patient who died because she wasn’t given proper attention in a hospital due to inability to pay because of the cash scarcity.
Frankly, I did not support the redesigning or changing of the colour of the naira notes when the Buhari administration is about to end because of the political undertone I envisaged. Why should a major and critical policy be made with just three months to the end of the government? Is this not done to put filth on the toga of the All Progressives Congress (APC) so that the party will look like faeces in the sight of the people? Is it not a political gimmick to hinder the chances of Bola Ahmed Tinubu? These are the questions begging for answers.
In the 2019 gubernatorial election in Oyo state, the major issue that enabled the incumbent governor of the state, Engineer Seyi Makinde to win was the pain inflicted on the state government workers and the people generally by the Senator Abiola Ajimobi administration. Consequently, people saw the All Progressives Congress (APC) as not people-minded, and votes were massively cast by the people for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Have Nigerians not been tagging APC because of Buhari’s maladministration in Nigeria? Economic downturn, insecurity, joblessness, fuel price hike, scarcity of cash, poor infrastructure, among others, are the features of Buhari’s administration. Nonetheless, there is no administration or administrator without its or his Achilles heels but this bad experience being encountered during Buhari’s government is immensurable.
As Nigerians suffer the naira hardship, the show of madness or display of comedy crept in. Of recent, a video clip of a man in a bank who, out of frustration, undressed his cloth, “buba” in the Yoruba language, sat on the counter and yelled that the bank should give him his money with immediate alacrity, hit the airwaves. This action is comic and, in another view, awful. I wonder how his children will feel when the video clip is being watched by them. In my view, it can be regarded as a “public self-disgrace” unknowingly done to tarnish the image of oneself.
The scarcity of naira notes has even turned commercial banks into religious houses or even a mosques. A picture was captured in one commercial bank where some people were observing prayer. They observed what is called “Solat” which is one of the five pillars of Islam. What I think necessitated that was the fear of not being counted out of the queue. But, is the action normal?
Also, the most mind-blowing video clip is where a lady unscrupulously undressed in a bank; publicly displaying what ought to be kept private. She began to shout: “Give me my money, close my account, my children didn’t go to their citadel of learning yesterday, they didn’t go today.” A sympathetic banker got emotionally captured and she ordered her to follow him. What they did after that didn’t appear in the video clip I watched online. For how long shall we experience this?
Last week, commoners were pushed to the wall and they launched protest which was turned into the orgy of violence by men of the underworld in Ibadan, the state capital of Oyo state. Unfortunately, it reportedly claimed the life of one person and left many injured. This is somber and it has been condemned by Engr. Seyi Makinde. The protest by the people is an indication that people are angry.
Truly, the deadline for the collection of old notes has been shifted to February 10 yet, the new naira notes are yet to reach the general public or wider circulation. As the hardship lingers, it is pertinent to ask: Are the bank managers or officials ceasing the new naira from being circulated? If yes, the federal government should bring the culprits to book. Otherwise the pockets of protests being experienced may deteriorate to a national scale and worsen the security situation and have adverse effects on the upcoming presidential election.
Ogbomoso, Oyo state