Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of using the naira redesign policy to destroy the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Nigeria’s democracy before he leaves office in May this year.
Ganduje made the accusation in Kano, the state capital on Wednesday when he met with the Forum of Former Parliamentarians, North-West zone, who visited him to inform him of their resolve to support the presidential ambition of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari announced in a national broadcast on Thursday the extension of the validity of the old N200 to April 10, 2023, while N500 and N1,000 have ceased to be legal tender despite the hardship Nigerians are passing through in accessing the new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
Kano State earlier joined a suit filed by three states against the Nigerian government at the Supreme Court. The suit challenges the legality of the Naira redesign policy.
Although President Buhari in his national broadcast said the naira redesign and swap policy was meant to curb inflation and other infractions in the country, Governor Ganduje openly criticised him for the policy.
According to Daily Trust, Governor Ganduje said it was unfortunate that despite the collective efforts made by the APC to ensure Buhari’s election victories in 2015 and 2019 after previous losses, he had resolved to pay the party and those that supported him back by destroying the party that brought him to power.
Governor Ganduje was quoted as saying, “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.”
The governor questioned President Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for not implementing the policy seven years ago.
He questioned why it had to be done on the eve of an election.
He 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?
“How is it possible when the World Bank said the policy is wrong, the IMF said it is wrong, other leaders said it is wrong, but you said you need seven days to think over it? The poor man selling vegetables will have his goods rotten (before the end of the thinking period), that is why I close down one supermarket for rejecting the old notes.
“The Supreme Court has said the old notes are still legal tender, that is why any bank that refuses to collect, I will revoke their certificate and if they do that, they cannot work.”
Like Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Governor Ganduje also said the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu would revoke the Naira redesign policy after the election if he wins, adding that the policy was a plot to scuttle the elections.
According to him, the development is similar to how MKO Abiola was denied being the president in 1993.
The governor said, “It was like this at the time of SDP with the Association of Better Nigeria (ABN); the CBN governor is the ABN of this dispensation.
“Therefore, this is even beyond not wanting someone to win the election; it is democracy itself they don’t want. They want to set up an interim government committee like that of (Ernest) Shonekan.
“Which credible politician do you think they can put to head such a committee? Except you just bring people that do not represent the masses but their families, those are the ones you can bring to form interim government.”