Naira Crunch A Good ‘Price’ If It Brings Credible Elections, Says Odinkalu

He alleged that politicians are fighting for cash to buy votes rather that their claim that it is about public interest.

File photo of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu


A human rights activist, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, says Nigerians are ready to endure the sufferings that come with the cash scarcity caused by the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria as long as it ensures the upcoming general elections will be credible.

He was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict programme on Thursday.

Odinkalu berated governors led by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who filed suit against the Federal Government at the Supreme Court over the CBN policy, accusing them of fighting for cash to buy votes rather than their claim that it is about the public interest.

“How many children have been abducted in Kaduna State? When last did you hear Nasir El-Rufai complain about all the killings and abductions happening in Southern Kaduna from Kajuru to Jema? When last did you hear him complain about all of the atrocities that have happened? Now he is jumping all about what? Cash, currency reform, right?

“This matter is about the cash to buy elections and the President said this much; he linked this matter to free and fair elections. Why would the President be linking this matter to free and fair elections if we are not talking about cash-to-buy elections?

“The fact of the matter is these politicians jumping up on this don’t have the public interest in view and Nigerians are suffering. Also, Nigerians, we are willing to endure this if it is the price we are going to pay to ensure that whoever wins fairly on the 25th of this month becomes president.

“Whether it is Tinubu, Atiku, or Peter Obi, let it be fair and credible. Not at the price of whether it is El-Rufai or Masari or which other governor has collected public money and wants to launder in elections, it must not be allowed. Nigerians know that. If this suffering is the price we will pay to make sure this does not happen, that is fine,” Odinkalu said.

The former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission said even when he doesn’t have a lot of good things to say about President Muhammadu Buhari, the President is fighting for the last thing a government must fight for and that he is well within his right to do so.

He added that it is not right for state governors to go around issuing orders countermanding the President on the naira redesign policy.