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General News of Wednesday, 10 August 2022

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How Nigerian govt can cripple terrorism, kidnapping within one month - Official

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A public affairs analyst, Chris Oyedeji, on Monday, said the rising trend of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria can be tackled within one month if the nation’s currency is changed.

He said the move will not only deal a blow to criminal elements, who have held the nation to ransom for a long time but will also cripple the financial capabilities of their sponsors.

Mr Oyedeji said if this measure is employed, the nation would be able to cut off the lifeline of terrorism to a large extent.

"The panacea to our insecurity challenges is to change our currency,” he said. "Buhari did it in 1984. Immediately we changed our currency, all the illegal monies our politicians had hidden became tissue paper, became wasted. When Buhari closed the borders two or three years ago, insecurity dropped. You know the reason? They (criminals) couldn’t take money out of the country again to buy guns.”

"This is the strategy we can employ. On a Friday night by 9 p.m., the President addresses the nation and says that on Monday morning, Nigeria will be changing her currency and we are closing all our borders on Monday. The currencies will arrive Nigeria on Friday. Friday, Saturday Sunday, we will do the distribution nationwide. Banks will open on Monday. But you cannot change more than N10, 000 daily. And you cannot change the currency across the counter, you must pay it through your account. The maximum amount any individual can withdraw is N10, 000 per day. And the change of currencies will run for 21 days. So if you have a N100 million stolen money stashed somewhere, the highest amount you can withdraw will be N210, 000 in a week.”

Mr Oyedeji, who heads a group, Professionals for Tinubu, said bandits and other criminals who collect ransom or invade banks, would be hard hit since they usually have large amounts of cash stored.

"So first, bandits will be looking for how to change their money. Disorganisation will set in. Now within this period you cannot transfer money into your accounts, everybody must do it with physical cash, no more transfers. You must pay it into the banks with tellers. So a bandits will be looking for several people to help him launder the N100 million he has with him. BDCs who keep cash will be looking for people to help them launder the money. The N100 million someone paid as ransom, where does it go to? It goes to the BDCs, …who take these monies to the bank, who don’t ask them questions. That is why El-Rufai said the bandits have billions of naira in cash.

“The Abuja-Kaduna victim said two weeks to his release, they started feeding them well. That means that was when the monies started coming in.The bandits collect the ransoms take it to the BDCs who give them the dollar or euro equivalent. They then take the money to the Niger Republic or Chad to buy weapons…So if we do our currency change, the speculations in dollars will first crash because everybody, even the BDCs will be disorganised.”

On other measures, he also advocated the setting up of state police "by states who an afford to do so”, national guards who are indigenes of their localities and the empowering of private firms to produce weaponry for the use of Nigeria’s security forces and also export same.

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