From Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
The Chief Imam of Jordan Jummu’a Mosque in Kofar Dumi Area of Bauchi metropolis, Malam Rabi’u Shehu has appealed to the Federal Government to as matter of urgency halt the massive purchase of farm produce by those he described as merchants of doom.
The cleric, in a sermon, expressed dismay at the mass purchase of foodstuff across the various market days in the state and even beyond thereby hoarding the commodities while making their prices jerks-up each and every day.
Imam Shehu, who also described those merchants as retrogressive elements, observed that by hoarding the commodity, they were also making it very scare, thus putting the common man into untold hardships in scrambling for foodstuff.
Shehu held the view that instead of those merchants creating artificial scarcity of foodstuffs in the markets, they should, in the name of God, the Merciful, kindly share the undisclosed substantial sums they caged in their houses to the poor and needy in the society for bountiful rewards from the Creator.
“Instead of the merchants depriving the poor through the massive purchase of foodstuffs from the markets only to turn back at a later time or period sell at exorbitant prices, they should be humane enough to distribute the millions of naira notes they warehoused in their dens to the poor for God’s benevolence,” the cleric said.
Malam Shehu therefore urged the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and related Crimes Commission (ICPC) to spread their dragnets to markets days in all nooks and crannies of the country especially the North where farmers harvest bumper farm produce to apprehend such culprits for them to face wrath of the law.
He also urged patriotic citizens to expose those suspicious people by giving necessary information to security agents for their arrest and prosecution before the law courts.
It could also be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced its plan to redesign some of the country’s currency that included N200, N500 and N1000 notes in compliance with the monetary and banking policies of the country.
To this end, the apex bank ordered all banks across the country to work on Saturdays until January 31, 2023 to give every customer the opportunity to return their existing Naira notes affected by the redesign.
The CBN explained that all the existing naira notes shall cease to be legal tender by January 31, 2023, and therefore directed the banks to accept cash deposits above N500, 000, as it also asked the banks not to charge customers for cash deposit.