The Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Saturday, wrote President Muhammadu Buhari, asking the president to postpone his visit to the state. Mr Ganduje said his request follows complaints by Kano residents over the hardship being faced in getting the new naira notes.
The governor said lawmakers from the state, political leaders, and the business community backed the decision to postpone the planned visit while urging for the extension of the deadline to return old naira notes.
“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by the limited time given for halting the use of old Naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and for security reasons, Kano State governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals that the state resolved and wrote to Presidency that, the visit of the President to commission some projects to be postponed,” the governor’s media aide Abba Anwar said in a statement.
The statement said the decision was taken on Friday at the Government House during an interactive session with scholars, legislators, political leaders and the business community.
The decision was taken to avoid any unforeseen circumstance, the statement added.
The president was scheduled to visit the state between 30 and 31 January to commission some projects built by the Ganduje administration.
“As we are waiting for this important visit, we found ourselves in this situation, which puts citizens into untold hardship. For security purposes, we wrote to Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Kano is postponed.
“We got an acknowledgement copy of the letter. People are suffering because of this policy,” the governor said.
“During the meeting with sections of citizens in the state, they accepted that the decision was a unanimous one. As they all spoke in support of the letter sent to the Presidency.
“Two serving senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and Barau Jibrin, twenty members of the House of Representatives and yhirty legislators from the State House of Assembly were amongst the groups that put their weight behind the governor.
“There are no banks in most of our rural communities. How these people get new Naira notes is of great concern. Just look at what is happening in our urban areas, people go and spend hours upon hours in banks. And without any assurances of getting the new notes,” the governor lamented.
“Even at Point of Sales (POS) according to the governor, one cannot transact with ease, hinting that, many of them closed shops due to uncertainty,” the governor added.
The governor said “Kano, being a commercial hub, must be heard loudly and clearly because this problem affects all of us. Therefore our voice must be heard in all nooks and crannies.”
Mr Ganduje also said that Nigerian governors, across party lines, sent delegates to President Buhari to complain to him about the hardship caused by the new development.
“Governors from all the political parties put heads together and sent delegates, but to no avail. So also traditional rulers followed the same path, but individually. But up to now, there is nothing in that respect,” Mr Ganduje said.
The governor and other leaders from the state are expected to see President Buhari to demand the extension of the deadline for the use of old naira notes.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, had repeatedly said that the 31 January deadline for the use of the old notes is sacrosanct.
Many Nigerians have, however, demanded an extension due to the scarcity of the new notes.
The CBN announced the redesign of the three largest denominations of the naira – N200, N500, and N1,000 – last October.
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