The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has dismissed reports claiming that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government is working towards an interim government, saying there is no way the naira swap would keep the President in office beyond May 29.
According to Mr. Shehu, those peddling rumours of an interim government and truncation of democracy stand to gain nothing but the creation of panic and the incitement of the public against the federal government.
Shehu said Buhari is concerned with offering solutions to the problem and has opened several channels for consultation with leaders and groups throughout the country, even though he acknowledged that the currency swap had put a lot of pressure on the law enforcement agencies, the party, and its elected officials and candidates.
“Let us clearly, specifically and emphatically state that there is absolutely no truth to the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is working towards an interim government or even worse, the truncation of democracy- democracy that he has helped to keep alive not only here at home, in West Africa but throughout the continent.
“The talk of interim government and truncation of democracy is way off the mark. Those who peddle it stand to gain nothing- nothing at all -but the creation of panic and the incitement of the public against the federal government.
“It is another dangerous dimension by people who are afraid that they may lose their elections.
“Everybody is aware that there is a lot of pressure on everyone-all of us- the party, its elected officials, its candidates and law enforcement agencies following the way the currency swap has gone but the way to go is not to panic.
“There is indeed a problem and nobody will pretend that it doesn’t exist.
“It is precisely because the President is concerned with this problem that he opened several avenues for consultation with leaders and groups across the country, culminating in his broadcast to the nation on Thursday morning.
“In line with the speech, his clear and unequivocal directive is that the problem of cash supply must be addressed without delay.
“While this is being done, there is no need to panic. We need to work together as leaders; as a people and as one nation. When panic hits, people go into overdrive. Shouting helps no one because no one can listen.
“The solution to the problem is not in sending Nigerians into confusion.
“Elections, just a week ahead, will hold and Nigerians will vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, (and any others if they so wish) on the basis of their choice.
“Our people want progress, good governance, law and order and will not be swayed by the negative energy that is being expended against a well-meaning currency change.
“The fact that Tinubu has been opposed to the speed and timing of the Naira swap timetable does not mean he is against the idea of Nigeria becoming a cashless society. Of course, Tinubu does support a cashless society: for he is a man of the future.
What should be made crystal clear to the doubters and the speculators and the untruth-tellers is that in no way was the naira swap “engineered” to keep the President in office beyond May 29. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The President looks forward to handing over the reins of power to his elected successor. This will happen on May 29, 2023 as the Constitution requires it”.