The Supreme Court judgment of Friday extending the legality of old currency notes till the 31st December this year has been hailed by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, asking the Federal Government to latch on the judgment to ease the pains and tension in the land.

Oba Balogun gave this reaction in a press statement made available to journalists in Ibadan on Friday by his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola. The monarch praised the Supreme Court for standing by the people at this critical moment when living is becoming extremely difficult for ordinary citizens.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had fixed last 10th February as the deadline for the validity of the redesigned Naira notes of N1,000, N500 and N200 for which some of the state governors had approached the court and for which the court had given two adjournment.

At the first hearing of the case on the 8th February, the court ruled against the 10th February deadline which brought a great deal of relief to the people and eased tension in the land.

The CBN however did not obey the ruling, insisting to uphold the deadline hitherto set. As a form of palliative however, the FG later announced the extension of the validity of the old N200 note till the end of April this year.

But, with the Friday judgment making all the redesigned notes valid till the end of this year, Oba Balogun said “it is a great opportunity for the FG to bring succour to the people by releasing money to the populace. The last couple of weeks were too traumatic for the people and it is hoped that the Supreme Court judgment would be a platform to lean on by the government to ease the pains in the land”.

He appealed to the Federal Government to allow people to access their funds in the banks so that many crumbling businesses can rise up again, saying “the current policy putting a ceiling on how how much an individual can get from his/her account in the banks should be reviewed and allow people to withdraw as much as they want depending on the fatness of their accounts”.

Recalling the twin problems of hike in fuel pump price and cash crunch occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy and Naira redesign policy respectively almost at the same time, the first class monarch noted that the two policies resulted in excruciating pains for the people, adding, “I felt deep pains seeing people queing up at filling stations and banks at the same time.

“Even when fuel seemed available and the ques reduced, at what price? And when people were ready to buy at whatever price, where was the money? All these almost stretched the masses beyond the limit and that’s why the Supreme Court judgment was a balm that could sooth the pains”, Oba Balogun added.

The monarch disclosed that the judgment brought personal relief to him as an individual, stressing that “seeing people in distress without ability to help out makes me weak and unhappy and so, with the judgment, I’m elated. The FG is advised to as a matter of urgency give effect to the judgment without any delay”.

Oba Balogun praised the people for their resilience and perseverance while the trauma lasted and more importantly, for not allowing the problems to prevent them from performing their civic responsibility by coming out to vote in the last Saturday presidential and National Assembly election just as he urged them to also demonstrate the same patriotism come next week when the gubernatorial and State Assembly election would be held.

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