From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, under the chairmanship of Ademola Babalola, has told the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) stopped dispensing old naira notes few days to the deadline set by the apex bank to make them illegal tenders.
This was part of the resolutions reached at a congress of the NUJ in the state held on Friday at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, the state capital, which was well attended by journalists across different chapels under the council.
According to the communique, drafted by the trio of Seye Ojo (Chairman), Bunmi Elegbede (Secretary) and Ismail Fasasi (Member), was signed by Secretary of NUJ in the state, Sola Oladapo.
The 10-point communique read in part: “On the re-designing of new naira notes, we appeal to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other commercial banks to live up to expectation and ensure the goals and objectives of the policy are not sabotaged. The Federal Government has a duty to improve on the quality of the new naira notes based on complaints that the rate at which the new legal tenders have been washing off is alarming, especially when water touches it.
“The CBN should ensure availability of the new naira notes to commercial banks and that at this time, the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), should have stopped dispensing old naira notes. The paucity of the new naira notes in the public has created a sort of economic hardship for Nigerians. The FG should ensure that people of questionable characters do not produce counterfeits of the new naira notes.”
The union also condemned strongly the gruesome killing of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), identified as Mudasiru Baraka, who was attacked by gunmen early on Wednesday. He was said to have been shot at close range and died on the spot at his family compound in Oyo East Local Government Area.
The union, though noted that the police in the state have arrested nine suspects in connection with the offence, urged security agencies to ensure diligent investigation and prosecution of those that have been arrested.
“The killers should be fished out and prosecuted, while innocent people should be set free. The security agencies should improve on the security of lives and property of residents of the state.
“There has been a verbal war between the PDP and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) over the killing of Baraka. So, we appeal to political parties to sheathe their swords and allow the security agencies to investigate the killing and come out with their findings.”
The union also appealed to all stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, political parties and all Nigerians at large to eschew violence, thuggery and hooliganism before, during and after the forthcoming 2023 general elections. It added that all necessary measures should be emplaced to have free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.