By Gboyega Amoboye
Journalists familiar with the history of the press would recall that there were three paradigms of the press that collapsed to give room for today’s press of social responsibility, because they fell short of public expectations. The last of such press was the Libertarian Press that a woman tried to resuscitate a few years back as “Junk Journalism” but collapsed also. The bottom line is that any press that does not support the general view or public expectations would collapse for lack of patronage.
The press is said to be the mirror of the society. My focus is therefore on newspaper review by the press over the Naira redesign and circulation policy. While majority of the press are looking at the policy from political point of view as if there are some politicians that would not need money for the February 25 Presidential election, a few have been viewing it from economic point of view. To those against the extension of the deadline for old notes, politicians, especially Bola Tinubu of the APC, need money “to buy voters”. As if orchestrated, they are questioning why the governors pleading for extension were silent during ASUU strike and fuel crises? They may as well ask why the Council of State meeting was not summoned then and why now? What they seem to forget is that while ASUU and fuel crises are not life threatening, lack of money is life threatening . While ASUU and fuel crises affect a few millions of Nigerians, unavailability of Naira affects the lives of over 200 million people because none can exist without food and money is required for food. How many Nigerians were hungry during ASUU crisis to the point of going naked in banks? But now that ASUU crisis is over, can students stay on the campus without food? Can Nigerians go about without transportation? Can the economy move without exchange of money, services and goods? Even hired demonstratrators can not do so without mobilisation fees. Kudos to Journalists who have looked beyond prejudice in this money crisis and defended the right of the people to their savings without restrictions.
Those blaming some governors have forgotten that they were elected to protect lives and property of their people as well as their welfare as a matter of priority. Despite the intervention some states are already approaching anarchy with lives of bankers in danger where some banks have closed down for safety, just as some have been burnt down. I watched some journalists without evidence, blaming banks for hoarding and smuggling new notes to politicians where the CBN Governor Emefiele was “on his knees” explaining that even his own relations were on his neck for lack of money But I’m impressed to watch some right thinking journalists like Dr. Maho arguing that you can only hoard what is scarce. The government should thank the Supreme Court despite my disdain for them, for preventing what would have become a disaster if they had not intervened.
Meanwhile, where is the N100 note that is not affected by the redesign?
▪︎ Mr. Amoboye, a former newspaper editor, is based in Lagos, and sent this via WhatsApp.