El-Rufai, Gbajabiamila, Ganduje dares Buhari over use of old naira notes as legal tender
Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai has dared President Muhammadu Buhari on the naira redesign policy, saying the old notes remain legal tender in the state.
Buhari in a national broadcast on Thursday declared that old 500 and 1000 naira notes were no longer valid.
He had asked Nigerians to take them to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and designated places.
To counter Buhari, El-Rufai in a statewide address on Thursday night, said the notes remain legal tender until the Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all the old and new notes shall remain in use as legal tender in Kaduna State until the Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise,” El-Rufai said.
“I therefore appeal to all residents of Kaduna State to continue to use the old and new notes side by side without any fear. The Kaduna State Government and its agencies shall seal any facility that refuses to accept the old notes as legal tender and prosecute the owners.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Buhari’s insistence on phasing out old naira notes in spite of a Supreme Court ruling shows lawlessness.
The speaker said though the president’s directive was a step in the right direction, the federal government could not afford situations that “suggest disregard for the rule of law”.
He flayed the decision of the federal government for maintaining silence on the Supreme Court order on currency swap.
The Supreme Court had earlier given an order for the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to remain legal tender, pending the determination of a case brought before it by some state governors.
The Supreme Court on February 15 also reiterated its order and adjourned the matter to February 22.
However, Buhari, in a nationwide broadcast on February 16, said he had instructed CBN to reintroduce the old N200 note until April 10, while the old N1,000 and N500 had stopped being legal tender.
Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has alleged that the naira redesign policy of President Muhammadu Buhari is aimed at truncating Nigeria’s democracy.
Ganduje spoke late Wednesday in Kano when he met with the Forum of Former Parliamentarians, North-West zone, that visited to intimate him of their resolve to support the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Kano State is one of the states before the Supreme Court challenging the legality of the policy.
Ganduje asked why the president and CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele did not think of the policy seven years ago and why it had to be days before an election.
“Imagine someone has been contesting without winning elections until after a merger was formed. He won the election and spent four years and re-contested again and he won, now that he is about to go, he is doing nothing but to destroy the party that elected him,” Ganduje said.
“What is wrong with doing it after elections? Why hasn’t he done this in the past seven years? What is the meaning of all these? This CBN governor is not a politician; he doesn’t know anything about politics. How can a politician enjoy this policy? Imagine how as a leader you watch banks engulfed by fire, if not that the democracy has decayed, will that be possible?”