The All Progressives Congress (APC) is allegedly seeking to undermine the cashless policy that the Central Bank of Nigeria implemented to participate in vote buying in the 2023 election, according to Daniel Bwala, the spokesperson for the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization.
In an interview with Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Bwala claimed that although the CBN is merely trying to promote free and fair elections through its policies, the APC is opposing it because the party plans to prolong electoral malpractices.
Bwala said, “Now what we have seen as progressive growth towards a better election is that there used to be vote-snatching, ballot stuffing and all of that, now when they introduced the electoral act amendment, it sort of took out the idea of snatching of ballots by the fact that there is the electronic transmission of results whilst votes are cast, casting and counting at the polling unit.
“Another thing is the introduction of the bank policy which seeks to stop vote buying because vote buying is one of the major if not major problems that are affecting free and fair processes. Ordinarily, that is to be accepted by everyone without a doubt, unfortunately, there is a party called All Progressives Congress that is consistently opposing this idea. What the CBN policy seeks to achieve is to stop bullion van politics.”
Senator Ayo Arise of the APC disagreed with Bwala, claiming it is sad that the PDP member attributed the APC’s demand to extend the CBN policy to them.
He said, “It’s unfortunate that the gentleman is attributing the extension to APC or any form of resistance to the cashless policy. It’s just that this is the political season but otherwise you noticed that before Nigerians trooped out to register for the national identity numbers, the Minister of Communications had to compel those who do not have NIN numbers should not have their phones working, so everybody rushed that.
“Initially there was a term period and subsequently there were extensions, so why did we not tie that to politics? These are policies that come now and then to improve on many functionalities of the government,” Senator Arise said.
The Senate urged the CBN on Thursday to extend the deadline for the phase-out of the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes from January 31 to June 30, 2023.