A livid Kaduna Governor Nasir el-Rufai has again attacked President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly flagrantly violating the Supreme Court’s order that the old notes should remain legal tender pending the determination of the case before it.
Persecondnews recalls that Buhari had in a broadcast on February 16 approved only the N200 notes to exist as legal tender until April 10 and declared that N500 and N1,000 notes have ceased to be legal tender.
On February 8, the apex court had ruled that the old notes should be allowed to circulate concurrently pending the determination of the suit before it.
El-Rufai, an APC governor while countering Buhari in a state broadcast also on Thursday, described the President’s address earlier on Thursday limiting the legal tender status of old notes to only N200 as a “total disregard and disobedience” of the ruling of February 8 which was extended further yesterday by the Supreme Court.
The governor, who also blasted the Attorney-General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN), said his “misguided action to mislead the President into engaging in this public violation of the order of the highest court of the land showed how desperate the policy architects were to cause national chaos, by showing open contempt for the judiciary.”
el-Rufai said: “The decision to recognize only N200 as legal tender till April that the President announced this morning was offered to the state governments as part of proposals for an out-of-court settlement three days ago.
“The Federal Government asserted that this was offered because all the ‘old’ N1,000 and N500 notes had been destroyed.
“We rejected the offer and proved to the officials that not a single higher denomination note had been destroyed. We also believe that circulating N200 only to be inadequate in alleviating the suffering that we see every day.
“We insisted that all the components of the Supreme Court order should be complied with.”
In an apparent affront to the President, el-Rufai asked the people of Kaduna State to continue to use the old naira notes in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“But back home, what do we do in Kaduna State? My dear people of Kaduna State, with the foregoing revelations, it is clear that our peaceful coexistence as a state, and a nation, is being placed in deliberate danger using the intentional combination of fuel and cash supply disruptions.
“These evil people using the instrumentality of the Federal Government and the President as convenient covers are willing to truncate our democracy because they have personally lost out.
“They are massively deploying resources and tools to defeat the political party that gave us the platform to serve the country just because they could not impose the candidates of their choice. Let us not help them.
“Let us stay calm and peaceful, and support the lawful means being utilized to solve our problems. On behalf of the Kaduna State Government, I wish to assure you that none of you would lose the money you have in old notes.
“Let no artificial and illegal deadline frighten you. Whether you live in towns, villages or in our isolated rural communities, do not feel stampeded to deposit your old notes in the banks.
“Hold on to them. Continue to use them as legal tender as ordered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria. No deadline can render them worthless, ever. The law is on your side.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and the Bills of Exchange Act, both oblige the CBN to recognize your old notes and give you value in new notes whenever you bring them to the CBN, even in the next 100 years.
“Therefore, as your governor, I wish to assure you that the Kaduna State Government, in collaboration with elected legislators, traditional institution, elected local government councils, markets, and traders associations will help you collect, record, document, collate and deliver all your old notes to the Kaduna branch of the Central Bank on your behalf into the new ones immediately after the elections.
“We will also ensure the delivery of your new notes to your various locations without any hardship or expense on your part. We shall save you any panic and the stress of a long journey from your community to the CBN office in our state capital, from March until December 2023 if need be.
“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. 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. If need be, we shall take further consequential actions according to the law.
“While urging you all not to fall for these antics of the enemies of Nigeria, please be patient and continue to exercise resilience in the face of open provocation and deliberate disinformation,” el-Rufai also said.
“We encourage you to be ready with your PVC to vote in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections. We are doing all we can to ensure that it is peaceful, orderly and hitch-free.
“I appeal to you to understand the shenanigans of these unpatriotic elements in Abuja and ensure you vote massively for the intended victims of these last-minute policies of needless hardship and incitement of the citizens – our party, the APC and its candidates in all the elections,” the governor said.