Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has lashed out at the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari over its naira redesign policy saying the policy may hurt the chances of the ruling party in the general election and may adversely affect democratic rule in the country.
Mr Ganduje, an ally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, made the claim during a meeting with a group of former National Assembly members from the North West on Wednesday.
The governor of the commercial hub of northern Nigeria said the policy should have been introduced seven years ago or after the election.
Mr Ganduje said President Buhari, by implementing the policy close to an election, will destroy the party under which he became president for two consecutive terms.
“No doubt we know the importance of politicians. That’s why now, when you look at what’s happening, it can make you weep.
“Look at this person, who had contested several times without winning. No sooner than a merger took place, he won an election. After four years, he got re-elected. Now he is going after his tenure but there is nothing he is doing than to destroy the same party that helped him to power. How could anybody be like that?” Mr Ganduje asked.
“Then it’s time for the election and you just bring this policy. For God, why is this coming at this time? What’s the importance of doing it now? Why not after the election? Why not some seven years back before now? Every politician will question this: what’s the importance of this policy? The CBN governor doesn’t understand these things. He is not a politician but just like that… He is a nobody,” he said.
Mr Ganduje wondered how the president felt seeing banks being burnt by protesters in the southern part of the country due to the scarcity of the naira notes.
“For God, just imagine these things. You’re a leader and you’re seeing a bank goes in flames. Could this be possible if not because democracy has been bastardized? He doesn’t have an answer to this and this is not democracy,” he said.
Speaking further, Mr Ganduje told the gathering that some governors went to court to protest the policy because it was not the right thing to do.
He also said it should have been revisited since international organisations like World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and some world leaders all called on the federal government to look at the possibility of revisiting the policy.
Mr Ganduje said if the candidate of the ruling party is elected, he would discard the policy.
He also warned that banks in the state should collect old notes or risk having their certificate of operating in the state revoke.
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“That was why we ran to the court and said we didn’t agree with this policy because we believe it’s a plan to have the elections cancelled and by God’s grace, if we’re elected, we’ll discard away with this policy. Even the World Bank said what we’re doing is not right. The IMF too said it’s not the right thing to do. Several organisations are opposed to it too. Other world leaders also opposed it.
“But somebody said he should be given seven days to think. Now these small-scale business owners selling tomatoes would be at loss. There is even a supermarket that stopped collecting old notes and I said it should be shut down since the supreme court said old notes should be accepted until after a verdict is passed therefore I gave the directive that any bank that refuses to collect old naira notes, I’ll strike out its certificate and once it’s cancelled you can’t operate your bank. This has even gone beyond not supporting a particular candidate to win the election, it’s the democracy that they don’t want. They want in the nearest future to form a committee …,” the governor said.
The decision to redesign some naira notes in the country has been causing a scarcity of the notes, which has led to protests in the state.
Some governors, including those of Zamfara, Kogi, and Kaduna had gone to the Supreme Court to stop the federal government from going ahead with the policy. The suit has now been postponed for hearing.
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