The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Sunday lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari for his failure to comply with the ruling of the Supreme court on the naira redesign policy, adding that his credentials have been dented by his intransigence on the matter.
In a statement on Sunday, Murtala Aliyu, secretary general of the forum, said the scarcity of cash in the country could lead to breakdown of law and order.
The forum called on Buhari to respect the ruling of the supreme court which says the old notes remain legal tender until December 31.
“Some ten days ago, the Supreme Court of Nigeria held that President Muhammadu Buhari breached the constitution in the way he issued a directive to the CBN for the redesign of the naira without consulting with the National Council of States and the federal executive council,” the ACF said.
“It went further to rule that the unconstitutional use of powers by the president on the naira redesign has breached the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens in various ways.
“The state governors have persistently argued that the policy which permitted the CBN to place an embargo on the circulation of old N500 and N1,000 naira notes, while not providing their replacement in sufficient amounts, had triggered severe cash shortage and chaos in the economy.
“It has led to runaway inflation in food and other commodities. Huge crowds and long queues form around bank offices and ATM points across the country as people struggle to get the new cash which have remained extremely scarce. It has triggered riots and other forms of civil unrest.
“Whatever the CBN or anyone else say about the benefits of the policy, which evidently are many, is of little comfort as soon as the highest court in the country has deemed that it is, or at least the manner of its implementation, breaches the law.
“Ten days is long enough time for the government to find its way towards complying with a court order which import is central to the achievement of peace, order and good governance in the country.
“President Buhari is under oath to defend the constitution of Nigeria. As his long term supporters, it will be remiss of us if we fail to warn that the much touted benefits of the Naira redesign can never justify the damage to his credentials as a democrat and a stickler for the rule of law.”
The ACF said the president should not pay a heavy price on account of a policy whose immediate goals are not entirely clear to a majority of Nigerians.