Acivic group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on Nigerian authorities to investigate a report that the presidential spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Dino Melaye and others ‘smuggled out’ N50 billion new notes from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Islamic group said if the action which reportedly happened two days ago is true, Senator Dino Melaye and his cohorts should bury their heads in shame, adding that they are “insensitive to the suffering of the jamaaheer (masses)”.
In a statement issued on Sunday by MURIC’s Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, titled: “Probe Alleged Smuggling Of N50 Billion New Notes From CBN By Dino Melaye, Others,” the group asked the Nigerian government to expedite action on finding solutions to the plethora of problems associated with the distribution of the new naira notes.
The statement read in part, “Some media sources published reports of alleged smuggling of N50 billion out of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by Dino Melaye and his co-travellers two days ago. This is a grave allegation when contextualised within the current fiscal crisis being faced by Nigeria.
“MURIC frowns on this behaviour which has been associated with Senator Dino Melaye, a prominent politician. It is mean, self-serving, unpatriotic and disgraceful. Politicians who participate in such an operation should bury their heads in shame. They are insensitive to the suffering of the jamaaheer (masses).
“Nigerians are hungry. People all over the country cannot find cash to buy food. Parents have no old or new naira to give their children and wards to use as transport to school. Workers are keeping away from work due to the non-availability of cash. Many travellers are stranded. Businesses are at a standstill. Nigeria as a corporate entity holds its breath and trembles.
“We call on the Federal Government (FG) to immediately set the machinery in motion to unveil the veracity of the report. In the same vein, we call on the security agencies to spare no efforts in meting out appropriate punishment to bank officials found to have sabotaged the ongoing naira swap.”
It added, “The intention was good but the implementation is haphazard. Apart from the fact that the CBN governor has not been transparent and sincere enough, the timing is wrong. Nobody changes currency in an election year. This naira swap is laced with red herrings.
“We, therefore, appeal to FG to expedite action on finding solutions to the plethora of problems associated with the distribution of the new naira notes in order to mitigate the suffering of the hoi polloi.
“By the same token, we appeal to Nigerians to temper action with common sense because it is also the poor and innocent citizens who will suffer most if violence breaks out. Demonstrations should be avoided at this time because that is what hoodlums are waiting for. They will hijack the process and start looting shops and properties of poor Nigerians.”