OPINION: Endless queues, Nigeria goes cashless few weeks to elections

Nigerians’ patience was really tested throughout last week; with queues at filling stations and banks growing longer every day. The uncertainty of getting fuel or cash was simply extremely high.

Protests broke out in few areas of the country while many trending videos emerged of bank customers in fierce protests against their banks.

Naira scarcity protest spreads to Delta
The CBN says banks have been instructed to distribute cash over the counter but that doesn’t seem to be helping much.

Protests rock Ibadan over naira, fuel scarcity
Meanwhile, PoS vendors are literally selling the naira, with some vendors charging N1,000 on every N5,000 withdrawn.

In all of these, traders are complaining about fake transfers and alert scams. Some have therefore reverted to accepting only cash.

On the back of the fuel and naira crises, two prominent persons lost thier lives during the week.

Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi
Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi
The Emir of Duste, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi, passed and so did a former Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano, Prof. Ibrahim Umar.

Meanwhile, a bomb blast killed some herders along the borders of Nassarawa and Benue.

Controversies around the blast has risen, alongside blame game.

While the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule sued for peace, his counterpart in Benue, Samuel Ortom and the 14th Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi were entangled in a drama.

The emir had asked the Benue governor to be more open to the diversity among the citizenry, including herders, like the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.

Ortom had not taken kindly to that remark and kicked back. He also alleged that there was an existence of a number of northern elites threatening his life, insinuating that the emir was one of them.

Whatever the case may be, campaigns are still in full fledge even as Nigerians struggle to survive.

Earlier in the week, in Akwa Ibom, Tinubu goofed again while throwing jabs at the state’s governor and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, whom he referred to as Senate President.

Atiku, on the other hand, made lofty promises of ending insecurity and the incessant dispute between FG and ASUU when he visited Sokoto.

While all these were ongoing, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was making good his threat. Whoever said hell has no fury like a woman scorned, must not have met a Nigerian politician.

Governor Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar
Wike, who is in an open face off with his party, the PDP, barred Atiku from his campaign venue in the state.

A statement was issued by the state government withdrawing the approval it earlier granted to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for the PDP presidential campaign rally.

Meanwhile, far away from Rivers, in the ancient city of Kano, Media Trust held a gubernatorial debate.

The governorship candidates and the representatives of Media Trust Group (MTG) during the Media Trust Debate in Kano yesterday Photo: Salim Umar Ibrahim
The debate that held for over two hours is being dubbed as the most civil debate in the country.

It was attended by gubernatorial candidates of the APC, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, the Labour Party Eng Bashir Ishaq Bashir, and the PDP, Muhammad Abacha.

The candidates were grilled on economic and social development plans, which they answered to the best of their abilities.

While the drama to the 2023 elections continue, one can only hope that Nigerians would have cash in their pockets and petrol in their generators to watch the live coverage of the polls.


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