Occupy CBN Protest Flops
The attempt on Friday by a group to stage a protest against the foreign exchange policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria failed as the group led by Deji Adeyanju, could not muster enough public support.
The group which had earlier been described by the CBN as “paid hirelings and blackmailers” had been mobilizing Nigerians to join the protest. At about 9:30 am when about 12 people gathered at a junction close to the Women Development Centre in Central Area, Abuja, the leader of the group, told reporters that they were not coming to make trouble but rather to obtain explanations as to why the Naira should be allowed to weaken against the US Dollar.
Received by the policemen on routine duty at the junction, the group which had earlier been described by CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate communications, Isaac Okorafor, as “paid agents of selfish interests and the enemies of the Nigerian economy”, left the junction on their own after about five minutes.
It will be recalled that the CBN had in a statement alerted the public to an arranged protest by a paid group working for “powerful interests who want the CBN and Government to reverse the policy on conservation of forex and sabotage the ongoing efforts to wean Nigerians from senseless importation. They want to create markets for importers to the overall detriment of the Nigerian economy. No amount of blackmail will make the CBN allow a practice where by our farmers and industrialists who have invested heavily and employed our youths in the production of Nigerian made rice, fish, industrial starch, palm produce, wheat, tooth pick, wines, etc, would be made to close their farms and factories again. What these charlatans and hirelings want are basically twofold. First they want the CBN to give out the nation’s scarce foreign exchange to their sponsors to import all manner of foreign goods and dump them on our markets thereby frustrating the good work our own farmers and manufacturers have begun”.
Second, they want the CBN to fold its arms and allow currency speculators to drive the naira down to a level at which it will be easy for their paymasters to buy up and take control of the Nigerian economy. They have even gone to the extent of making false allegations that some banks are having trouble just to trigger panic in the financial system. These will not happen. Nigerians have rejected these foreign agents. 26 states have adopted the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). Nigeria is set to be self-sufficient in rice, fish and wheat production. What happened during the past Christmas and new year celebrations has proved this. It will be economically suicidal for the CBN to allocate our scarce forex to those who will engage in another escapade in senseless importation which will again discourage our local producers who have borrowed money to engage in agriculture and local manufacturing. It will be dangerous to our poor people in the rural areas and indeed to the masses of Nigerian workers who are on fixed incomes for the CBN to allow speculators to drive the value of the naira to any level just for the selfish gains of the sponsors of these arrangee protests. We will not succumb to blackmail.
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