Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a controversial Islamic cleric, has stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) effort to reduce abduction in the country by redesigning the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes are ineffective because terrorists already have access to the new currency.
Gumi stated that terrorists were “people with complaints and a want to improve their image” and that invoking terrorism as the basis for a redesigned naira would not be productive.
In a Saturday interview with PUNCH, the cleric stated that the terrorists had ridiculed Emefiele through the video that went viral showing them displaying the new notes.
He stated, “I was one of those who stated that (the initial CBN deadline) was not practical, and I anticipated that it would be withdrawn. The government has programs, but its execution of those programs is sloppy and ill-conceived. I heard an economist remark that when there are three significant events in the same year that require the same resources, one must be sacrificed. Donkeys must be overworked or they will collapse.
“There would have been an upheaval (if CBN had not extended the deadline). Consider how well-liked Buhari was in Kano; suddenly, though, Kano residents turned against him. It is very upsetting to witness that. In Sudan, the fall of the government was precipitated by a minor increase in the price of bread because the populace was dependent on it. People are despondent; they will turn against you, so you cannot take them for granted.
Regarding the footage of terrorists displaying the new currency, he stated, “These (terrorists) are individuals with complaints who also wish to improve their image. The CBN governor stated that altering the notes was necessary to deprive terrorists of funds (of money). They (the terrorists) hear him and announce, “Your money is with us.” They are able to capture (kidnap) individuals, collect new naira notes, and even demand foreign currencies. Therefore, claiming terrorism as the rationale for this severe law in a democratic society would not produce positive consequences. It is a mocking display (the terrorist’s display of new currency).
“To begin with, individuals in the almajiri system are not involved in criminality, banditry, or Boko Haram because they are already under the tutelage of a respected leader, however they can be involved in other sorts of crime such as thuggery. Therefore, no child in Nigeria should be left behind. Every government should ensure that education is adequately supported.
“The economics is quite significant. The individual (next President) should strengthen the economy. Once the economy improves, a number of these issues will automatically diminish. In addition, there is work. The development of jobs is a crucial objective for every administration to pursue. Security should also be enhanced. There is a great deal of corruption in our security (agencies) that must be eradicated. They understand how to flush out the moles. They simply must be proactive.”