13 Parties threaten to withdraw from 2023 elections if CBN shifts new naira deadline

In response to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency redesign strategy, “thirteen” of Nigeria’s 18 political parties have vowed to sit out the next general elections on February 25 and March 11.

On Monday, at a briefing held by a coalition of political party chairmen, the “13 parties” praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his work redesigning the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.

If the revised date of February 10, 2023, is pushed again, as desired by several governors of the All Progressives Congress, the parties have declared they would not be participating in the polls (APC).

The “13 parties” also criticized the governments of the states of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara for going to the Supreme Court to seek a court injunction to extend the validity of three older notes.

The National Chairman of the Action Alliance, Kenneth Udeze, who briefed the pressmen, said, “We hereby announce that at least 13 out of the 18 political parties in Nigeria will not be interested in the 2023 general elections and indeed we shall withdraw our participation from the electoral process if this currency policies are suspended or cancelled or if the deadline is further shifted.”

On October 26, 2022, the CBN said that it will be changing the look of three of its banknotes. The new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes were introduced by the President on November 23, 2022, and the expiration date for the existing notes was set for January 31, 2023, as decided by the central bank.

Withdrawal limitations of N500,000 per week for individuals and N5 million per week for businesses were set by the CBN.

The deadline was originally set on January 31, but after public outcry, the central bank announced it will be extended to February 10 with the blessing of the Nigerian president.

On Friday, following a meeting with some APC governors, Buhari requested further time to make a significant policy decision.

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