- Professor Ishaq Akintola says the N100 note introduced by former president Jonathan's administration lacks quality
- Akintola says one of the reason for its poor quality is the removal of the Arabic Ajami
- He accused Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan of yielding to pressure from the Christian Association of Nigeria for the removal of the inscription
Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described the N100 note introduced by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on December 19, 2014, as the worst currency in Nigeria.
The currency was introduced to commemorate the centenary banknote with a major feature being the removal of ‘Arabic Ajami’.
“Nigerians consider Jonathan’s N100 note inferior to others printed earlier. It is of very low quality. It tears easily. It lacks second hand value. It grows soft and fragile with time, thereby making it difficult to handle or fold in people’s pockets or wallets. It has therefore failed as a veritable means of exchange.
“Placed side by side with the old N100 note which still has the Arabic Ajami inscription and which is still in circulation, Jonathan’s N100 shrinks into oblivion,” a statement from Akintola to Legit.ng read.
The statement said the MURIC was constrained to affirm that Jonathan’s N100 note “is a fiscal embarrassment, a huge disappointment and a colossal waste of the nation’s scarce resources. Three and a half years on, Jonathan’s N100 note has qualified for the worst banknote ever printed in Nigeria. It is a national disgrace. This banknote should be withdrawn from circulation.”
Explaining what it thinks would have been the reason, Akintola said Jonathan was blinded by his anti-Arabic sentiment that he ignored quality control measures.
According to him, Jonathan was only concerned with the implementation of the “hate agenda of a few anti-Muslim elements” who are bent on eliminating all vestiges of Islam from the Nigerian environment.
Akintola continued: “It was not the first time this would happen. Arabic inscriptions which have always been on Nigerian currency since independence were unceremoniously removed in 2005 from N5, N10, N20 and N50 denominations during the reign of Olusegun Obasanjo.
“It must be noted that there has been surreptitious pressure from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the removal of Arabic from the naira. But Nigerians need to know that this move was calculated to hurt the Muslim population and may end up as a disservice to the nation.
“The average northerner cannot read any other script except in Arabic Ajami and anyone who wants to communicate with him effectively must use the Ajami, not even writings in Hausa language can help in this matter.
"Millions of northerners have therefore been marginalised by removing the Arabic Ajami from Jonathan’s poor quality N100 note and Obasanjo’s N5, N10, N20 and N50 denominations. The removal of Arabic Ajami is being interpreted as an attempt to discourage the learning and use of Arabic language which is the language of the glorious Qur’an.
“It is a sensitive religious matter. Nobody can do this in Nigeria and expect the Muslims to organize a carnival for him. But as usual, our leaders manifest the noun ‘deaf’ and the verb ‘to ignore’."
He said his organisation complained in 2005 when Obasanjo removed Arabic Ajami from new naira notes.
“The fact that Jonathan repeated the same thing has raised concern among Muslims. Why does Arabic always become the victim any time a Christian becomes president?
“It means that there is a conspiracy to gradually and tactically eliminate Arabic Ajami. It is only logical to expect the removal of Arabic from other notes when another Christian becomes president.
“When will these conspirators descend on the remaining notes which still has Arabic Ajami on them: N100, N200, N500 and N1,000? Should we expect the removal of Arabic Ajami from these remaining denominations when another Christian becomes president?
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“Is it ‘when the hullybully is done and gone?’ Or is it ‘when the battle is lost and won?’ It looks very much like an agendum continuum.
“Currencies worldwide are designed to suit each nation’s culture and history. Incidentally, Nigeria is a multireligious entity. In this case, therefore, our cultural and religious homogeneity should be the criteria, particularly when designing our banknotes, our stamps, etc,” the statement stressed.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Nigerians may continue to spend dirty and mutilated notes if the recent findings are anything to go by.
Nigeria’s currency, the Naira, in all its denominations, has been severely mutilated, overused and over-circulated such that it has become an issue of luck to come across a clean note.
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