According to Punch, protesters gathered at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja on Tuesday to demand the resignation or arrest of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over the recent redesign of the country's currency notes.
The protest, organized by the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, saw several demonstrators carrying placards with various inscriptions, including "Redesign Naira notes, redesign Emefiele," "Emefiele must go," and "CBN Governor must resign." The protesters claimed that the new currency notes had Islamic inscriptions and symbols and thus violated the country's secular status.
The CBN had announced the introduction of a new set of naira notes earlier in August, which featured portraits of Nigerian heroes and heroines, including a woman, for the first time in the country's history. The redesign also included the incorporation of security features to curb counterfeiting and the inclusion of the country's indigenous languages.
The CBN responded to the protesters' claims in a statement, stating that the redesign was not aimed at promoting any religion or ethnic group but rather at celebrating Nigeria's diversity and promoting patriotism. The statement also noted that the new notes were designed with input from various stakeholders, including members of the public, and were consistent with international best practices.
The CBN further stated that it was not unusual for currency notes to feature images or inscriptions that reflect the country's cultural or historical heritage, as seen in the currency notes of many other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
The protest comes amid rising inflation and economic challenges in the country, as well as security concerns and tensions in some regions. The CBN has been implementing various policies to address these challenges, including efforts to stabilize the exchange rate and promote local production and investment.
It remains to be seen how the protest will impact the CBN's operations and policies going forward, but it underscores the growing demands for accountability, transparency, and inclusivity in the country's governance and decision-making processes.
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