Monday, 29th May 2023

Buhari jettisons Ganduje’s security alert, visits Kano today

By Murtala Adewale (Kano) and Terhemba Daka (Abuja)
30 January 2023   |   5:10 am
The Presidency has not rescheduled today’s official visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to Kano, a reliable security source told The Guardian, yesterday.

[FILES] Kano State governor Umar Ganduje

Gov makes U-turn, says we’re ready to receive President

The Presidency has not rescheduled today’s official visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to Kano, a reliable security source told The Guardian, yesterday.

Buhari is expected to commission about seven legacy projects by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, including a 10 MW hydropower plant, cancer treatment centre, and other Federal Government funded capital projects in the state capital.

The presence of military personnel and other uniformed men around the metropolis increased, yesterday, as Nigerian Air Force surveillance helicopters kept watch from the skies.

The Kano State government had, on Friday, confirmed it made a formal request urging the Presidency to postpone the visit over security concerns.
Despite the letter to that effect, an impeccable source confirmed readiness by the Presidency to proceed with the visit. The source, however, disclosed that Buhari might focus on a multi-billion naira solar energy facility and few projects financed by the Federal Government.

He also noted the presence of plain-clothed security men who are largely party of the Aso Rock advance party as they manned strategic positions in the state capital.

“The Presidency has not issued any official statement in response to the letter you talked about or told Nigerians and Kano people that he would not be coming. As a matter of fact, the President will, by the grace of God, be in Kano tomorrow (today) for the commissioning of various projects. That I can assure you,” the source said.

Ganduje, who confirmed the official letter to the Presidency, had explained that Nigerians were undergoing difficult times, occasioned by the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He added that the visit might be attended by unforeseen circumstances that could threaten security.

“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by limited time given for halting use of old naira notes by the CBN, and for security reasons, we have written the Presidency that the visit to commission some projects be postponed,” the governor had said.

BUT 24 hours after, Ganduje made a U-turn, saying the state is prepared to receive him. The governor led a delegation of stakeholders from the state to meet Buhari in his country home in Daura, Katsina State, and thereafter, revealed the change of position to newsmen.

He said: “We are very much ready to receive him and we have a lot for him to commission, including Federal Government projects and state government. They are state-of-the-art projects.

“Seeing is believing. You can see that I have led a powerful delegation from Kano State on the issue of new naira notes, and we have seen Mr. President. We have laid the complaints of Kano people and we are very happy.

“He explained to us. Also, he assured us that the time is extended and the quantity of new naira (notes) will increase, so that the suffering of the people will be reduced. We informed him that Kano is the most populous state in the federation and also the commercial nerve centre of the northern part of Nigeria, second to Lagos.

“But in terms of cash transaction, Kano is much higher than Lagos because Lagos has gone far in terms of cashless society, cashless transaction. But Kano State comparatively a rural state, so to say. Still, we have 24 local governments without banks. Most of the banks are concentrated within Kano metropolis.

“So, you can imagine the suffering of the rural areas, rural people, in terms of cash transaction. But we are happy that the time has been extended and also the quantum of the naira notes will be increased. So, we are so grateful to the President for the effort.”