- Arabic cannot be removed from Nigeria's naira note, the CBN has declared
- The apex bank said the inscription is only to help non-English speakers who are literate in and use Ajami for trade
- Also, CBN said it would be expensive to remove since it will mean discarding existing notes
Following a suit seeking to remove the Ajami (Arabic) inscriptions on naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that the move is wrong because it would cost a ‘colossal sum of money’ to discard the existing notes and print new ones without Ajami.
According to the CBN, Ajami is not a symbol or mark of Islam but an inscription to aid non-English speakers who are literate in and use Ajami for trade.
The apex bank made the submission in a counter-affidavit to a suit filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, before Justice Mohammed Liman.
Malcolm had argued the Arabic inscriptions on the naira notes portray Nigeria as an Islamic state, contrary to the country’s constitutional status of a secular state, Daily Nigerian reports.
He further prayed the court to order the CBN to replace the Arabic inscriptions with either English language, which is the country’s official language, or any of Nigeria’s three main indigenous languages – Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have come out on social media to have their say on the topic.
Onayifeke Success wrote:
"Nothing concern us with the Arabic sign. You are looking for a way to divide the youth with religion and tribalism sentiment. Your plan we fail. We are not looking for a change of Arabic sign in our money we want a better Nigeria."
Alfa Saba Mohammed commented:
"CBN should insert a copy of Bible in our currency all i need is good money for spending. Some of those arguing or challenging Arabic word in our currency are the same people who travel to UAE and use their currency which are 90% Arabic. CBN should remove Arabic and English letters and replace them with Igbo letters pls, all i need is good money."
Uche Emmanuel added:
"Will removing the inscription from the valueless and falling Naria bring food to the hungry youths, bring employment, good infrastructure, a good system? That inscription have nothing to do with the masses. My fellow Nigerians, this publication is made by our politicians to divide us the more in the name of religion. The earlier we wake up and know that our common enemies are our politicians the better."
Habibu Ali commented:
"When Wike declared Rivers state as a christian state, why didnt take him to the Court. Who told them the arabic text means establishment of an islamic state ? Colonial masters introduced the symbol why they did not mentioned it or claim it as a threat to the secular state of the nation. Some people are ignorant of their claim. Shame on you."
Why is it now that u people noticed that Arabic writings in the naira notes, s it not there for yrs? How does it affect our moving forward now? It seems that all our leaders have lost focus from all spheres? Mr money governor, that's never our problem for now, if u can listen to Nigeria youths on the street u will discovers many things to work on
Lending his voice, Abdallah Kabeer Badaru stated:
"The inscription there is not Arabic Language, it is Hausa Language written in Arabic letters technically called "Ajami"
"It is not there to represent the Arab world rather a means of written communication in the northern Nigeria even before the arrival of your masters the colonials.
"We the northerners are very much proud of the Arabic inscription as it symbolize how literate our forefathers were long before the advent of the official language in the country."
In another development, the Nigerian Senate on Monday, November 9, said it is not aware of the Central Bank of Nigeria freezing the bank accounts of some leaders of the #EndSARS protesters.
According to the Senate, the governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, never wrote to it prior to taking such a decision.
This came up when the minister of justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, appeared before the Senate committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters for the defence of his ministry’s 2021 budget estimates.
Angry lawyers join EndSARS protest in Lagos | Legit TV