The Supreme Court had laid to rest the folly of the institutional cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. In the human face judgment, the wise men had called to question the rationality behind the iniquitous decrees of the Pharaoh of the Central Bank, whose heart was hardened against the financial liberty and peaceful existence of Nigerians. It took the wastage of lives, properties and time for the street ignorant ‘servant of the people’ to realize the foolishness in his theoretical wisdom. With a judgment, banks and members of the public are supposed to collect the beautiful old notes and the bleached new currencies until the end of the year.
This is expected to lead to a smooth transition programme between the new and the old notes. A smooth transition in the manner that President Muhammadu Buhari, coexists with senator Bola Tinubu until May 28, 2023. This was the same smooth passage process for the old one hundred naira notes. Nothing is as beautiful as the smooth, unforced metamorphosis of a society. It is however insane on the part of the banks to dispense the so-called old notes at their counters, and ATM machines, and refuse to collect it over their counters. One wonders why it would take Governor ‘Rotimi Akeredolu’s appeal broadcast to propel banks to obey a simple, life saving and society sustaining judgment. Disregard to the Governor’s appeal and the judgment by the Supreme Court portends danger and an invitation to anarchy. However, yours truly sues for patience and peace.
There are many lessons in Godwin Emefiele’s faux pas. First are those good ideas for change need the acceptance of people you are trying to change. Acceptance however comes from the manner of presentation of the idea. If the need to change the currency were mooted on the need for change of currency without the explicit taint on politics, many of these troubles would have been avoided. When public policies are enacted and forcefully executed to intimidate and or frustrate certain individuals, sympathies would arise for the oppressed.
Furthermore, the oppressed in the society also have allies who are powerful in their right to fight back. Therefore, it becomes the struggle between the legal, extra legal and illegal. On that battlefield, the citizens suffer, the policy makers are ridiculed, and the intimidated becomes a hero. Therefore, it ends in the Snail getting the rebuke as people journey to the market, but the in-law gets tongue-thrashed as people return from the market. Using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito would only result in incurring more expenses for damage control. Unfortunately, except Nigerians would lie, vote buying still took place in many voting centres in Nigeria, by both winners and losers.
Another lesson is the need to follow the model set by God in designing, proclaiming, and executing policies. As much as God wants the vision to be written clearly on the wall, for all to see and prepare, He waits for the appointed time to execute it. The fact that is policy is good and productive does not mean that it should be executed now. There is an appropriate time to reap a good harvest for effective policies. Certain proclamations by God takes up to 400 years before they are fulfilled, and do this in order to reduce the collateral damages as much as possible. The decision to change the naira should not have been a temporary success or an afterthought.
Even if it is, there should have been enough time. When a bad decision is made, it is not a thing of shame to change one’s mind and correct the errors. Arrogance, and power delusion in an egocentric individual however often obliterates the ratio nationality of the mind, making it embrace insanity. Doing the right thing at the wrong time often leads to abortion. While many things have been aborted by this policy, so many are experiencing threatening abortion now. Do we stop to think that even God repents of certain intentions, when engaged in logical interactions? Many thought that Godwin Emefiele was trying to play God. No, he and his one-way thinking cronies were trying to be bigger than God. In other words, they were trying to become the archrival of God. That is pathetic.
Furthermore, Nigerians had failed the test of patience. It is true that the situation was tough, outrageously tough. However, we could have waited just a little while. My heart goes to those who died in the process, and the authorities felt it was collateral damage. Are we at war? Despite the anger, let patience have its way. He who fights and runs away would surely live to fight another day. By the way, there are still many battles to fight for this country. Those communities, and angry youths who burnt down many banks, would surely live to regret when all these Emefielesm is over.
Many would have to travel miles, while ‘their’ banks are under construction, to use ATM machines. A little complaint about their accounts would see them traveling out of town, because they had in their anger slew the goose that laid their golden eggs. Well, monies that could have been used for other developmental purposes would now be channeled into rebuilding the destroyed infrastructures. Any sword that destroys its sheath would surely become homeless. This also goes to those who destroy government properties during protests and demonstrations. The amenities destroyed would only lead to more sufferings to the people, and not to those in power. Besides, it gives them more opportunities for corruption, when they want to rebuild such. Let us be patient, and be thoughtful before we throw the first stone.
To the bank workers, your pathetic case is like those of the power distribution companies. Their bosses give outrageous bills, refuse to supply light, and they get the beatings. Half obedience is total disobedience. The law of nature teaches that one should not give what it cannot accept. If your bank would not accept old notes as deposits, then do not dispense such across the counter or in your ATMs. If the CBN endangers your life and facilities, go on strike, and let the world know that Godwin Emefiele stands in the contempt of the court.
Abusing and harassing customers in the banking halls would only aggravate the situation at hand. Both customers and bank officials are of the universal set of suffering masses, so fighting one another only empires empowers the Emperor of confusion. For those Managers hoarding cash in order to make some quick profits, remember that wealth acquired by deceit would soon fade. The environment is tense and in the outbreak of avoidable violence, even the rich are not spared. Let us therefore dispense that which we have so that Nigerians would not have to result to jungle justice in order to feed their families.
The question many ask is if Godwin Emiefiele should resign. The answer lies with him. He may decide to wash his hands and leave the scene for different ideas to step in. His would not be the first and or last, In fact, he would be making history. The time is now to pick up the phone and make the call that would prevent the incoming inferno. If he does not, then a healthy and vibrant President must be able to rebuke him and call him to order. Can there be two masters in the same sinking ship?
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