By Tijjani Isa
Why is it so difficult to wait out the time to understand certain things better before hitting the keyboard to announce uninvited presence? The most ridiculous is “why now”? Or, “why not allow the next administration to do it”?
And the most annoying of it all is: “this CBN policy shows the terrorists are dictating how we live our lives”!!
Of course, terrorists, criminal entrepreneurs and other evil people and circumstances have always shaped policies and our lives the world over as there are no fool-proof regulations that are not prone to abuse and sabotage. To think of it, what are the use of laws if not to be broken, which invariably makes them robust as a result of periodic tinkering?
In fact the inevitablity of breakdown of law and order is what informs the idea of government in itself, to ensure checks and balances, pursuade or coerce, as the case may be, as there is no perfect playbook on how to keep a people safe and at a distance from hurting itself or others.
Governance is among other things pursuasion or coercion, or both.
I was telling a friend yesterday night that 50 years ago, the most vicious crimes ever witnessed in Nigeria were highway robberies and house break-ins. Then our criminality levels graduated to car thefts and jacking; the latter being carried out by mostly women who sprayed sleep inducing substances on their victims to snatch their cars and leave them on the sidewalks of major highways until they woke up much later and realized they have been had.
Bank robberies and hold-ups were unheard of in Nigeria until the advent of the new millennium.
Then came about the devilish acts of stealing and draining of the blood of babies and adults alike for money rituals – some say for political power. These ones occur mostly at election seasons.
All these are now part of our criminal history as kidnapping and banditry are the new enterprises, and so wide spread that anyone can be a player without any special powers, skills or expertise. All a criminally minded needs is access to an AK-47, a motorcycle and if need be a knife or a dagger. This phase of criminality of course has more money in it because ransom running into millions of Naira is demanded and paid. Who benefits from the ransom payments, and you might think it is the foot soldirers? Wrong! It is the guys in big mansions. And these guys are what the CBN is talking about.
So why should anyone question CBN if it says there is more money outside than in its vaults, and that is what the idea of redesigning our currency is all about?
And of course there is the issue of vote buying, which is one of the reasons CBN says made the proposed redesign as timely and proper knowing that voter inducements have always questioned the credibility of our elections. And where are these monies sourced, definitely not from bank vaults but in homes and private safes?
I can understand it is human nature to feel sceptical of new things, and laws, as they are bound to be inconvrniencing.
But we must appreciate that without certain inconveniences law enforcement would be needless and life itself would be less exciting.
So let the guilty sweat even if it is only for a moment