El-Rufai challenges Buhari, says old naira notes remain legal tender in Kaduna; Wike has officially joined APC, working for Tinubu – PDP campaign council | 5 Things That Should Matter Today 

  • El-Rufai challenges Buhari, says old naira notes remain legal tender in Kaduna
  • Wike has officially joined APC, working for Tinubu – PDP campaign council
  • Old Naira notes still remain legal tender in Jigawa – Gov Badaru
  • I Need N70m In ‘Hard Copy’ For Election Expenses – Doguwa
  • Buhari’s CBN directive falls short of Supreme Court Order – Gbajabiamila

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

El-Rufai challenges Buhari, says old naira notes remain legal tender in Kaduna

In a direct challenge to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has asked residents of the state to accept the old N500 and N1000 notes as legal tender.

Mr. El-Rufai gave the directive in a broadcast to residents of the state on Thursday night.

During the broadcast, Mr. El-Rufai described the naira redesign policy as a weapon by members of the ruling party and close allies of President Buhari bent on stopping the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from winning the 25 February election.

Describing the policy as “mindless”, Mr. El-Rufai said it has caused untold hardship for ordinary people of the state, who he said are victims of the policy.

“The sad fact is that the victims of these mindless policies are the people that elected us. It is their welfare that is being threatened. Many of our people have been left in a situation where the money they put in banks has literally been confiscated, depriving them of the ability to buy food and basic necessities. Our traders cannot sell as much as they used to because their customers have no access to their hard-earned money,” he said.

He said President Buhari was deceived by the leadership of the Central Bank to accept the narrative that the policy was meant to check politicians who amassed huge cash to buy votes during the elections.

The governor also said the policy was orchestrated by some members of the ruling party who lost out at the party’s presidential primary and are now desperate to frustrate the party and its candidates.

“It is important for the people of Kaduna State, and indeed Nigeria, to know that contrary to the public pronouncements and apparent good intentions, this policy was conceived and sold to the President by officials who completely lost out in the Gubernatorial and Presidential Primaries of the APC in June 2022.

“Once Asiwaju Bola Tinubu emerged as the candidate in June 2022, and subsequently did not pick one of them as his running mate, this currency redesign policy was conceived to ensure that the APC presidential candidate is deprived of what they alleged is a humongous war chest,” he said.

Mr. El-Rufai therefore directed residents of the state to continue accepting the N500 and N1000 notes as legal tender.

“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,” he 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. If need be, we shall take further consequential actions according to the law.”

Wike has officially joined APC, working for Tinubu – PDP campaign council

Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State, has been accused by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential campaign of switching to the All Progressives Congress in the state.

According to the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council in Rivers State, Governor Wike’s present political stance has been laid to rest following Bola Tinubu’s visit to the Government House on Wednesday, following the APC flag bearer’s campaign rally in the state.

Leloonu Nwibubasa, the spokesman for the Atiku campaign council in the state, said the present circumstance has vindicated the persistent position of the state PCC, which has been that Governor Wike is engaging in anti-party actions and has criminalized the mandate of the PDP.

Nwibubasa claimed that Wike has lost all integrity and credibility due to his prior critiques of President Muhammadu Buhari’s policies and his recent support for Tinubu.

“It is highly symbolic, that the reception of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and Governors of the APC in the Rivers State Executive Council Chambers, in the full glare of the Rivers State Executive Council, has put an end to all speculations that Governor Wike seeks to turn the seat of power in Rivers State, that is owned and was instituted by the votes of the people for the PDP to the APC.

”And of course, over the months, Governor Wike has been in a hypocritical denial of his political position and has continued to cause disaffection in the Peoples Democratic Party, and has waged a protracted war of his selfish interest against the leadership of the party.

“But today, it is clear that Governor Wike’s action is simply not for the interest of the South-South nor for national interest, but has always been for his personal interest.”

Governor Wike has been rumored to be supporting the presidential candidate of the APC, Tinubu, at the detriment of his party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Wike and his fellow G5 Governors, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Samuel Ortom (Benue), have refused to support the PDP presidential candidate, insisting that the major positions of the party should not be held by people of the same region.

Governor Wike and his team have demanded the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman of the PDP, saying the party chairman cannot come from the same region as the party’s candidate, but the leader of the party has refused to dance to the tune of the G5 Governors.

Wike has however been rumored to have pitched his tent with Tinubu, over speculations that he is looking for a soft landing for his political career, after his tenure comes to an end on May 29, 2023.

Old Naira notes still remain legal tender in Jigawa – Gov Badaru

The Jigawa State Government has said the old naira notes remain legal tender in the state pending the judgment of the Supreme Court.

The state Commissioner for Information, Youths Sports and Culture Bala Ibrahim Mamsa said this in a statement on Thursday.

According to him “Jigawa State is among the states before the Supreme Court of Nigeria the CBN and the court have issued an order “…restraining the CBN from suspending or determining or ending on the 10th of February, 2023 the time frame within which the now older versions of the 200, 500 and 1000 denominations of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of the …. Motion on notice…”

He said Jigawa State Government enjoined its citizens to desist from disobeying the law and causing hardships to the people of the state.

Mamsa stated that it has come to the government’s notice that some individuals and corporate bodies in the state are rejecting the now-old N200, N500, and N1000 notes.

He said the government would take action against anyone found rejecting the old naira notes.

The commissioner, however, advised the general public to report any trader or business organizations that refused to accept the N200, N500, and N1000 notes as legal tender in Jigawa State to the nearest appropriate authorities.

I Need N70m In ‘Hard Copy’ For Election Expenses – Doguwa

A member of the House of Representatives Ado Doguwa has stated that the currency crunch will have an effect on the electioneering costs of politicians, stating that he himself requires N70m in “hard copy” for the election.

This came after he met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock palace in Abuja on Thursday, and Buhari issued a directive to the CBN on the naira swap.

“I need to have this N70m in hard copy. That is the position of the law and as I speak to you, I don’t have it,” the House leader said in reference to Section 88(4) of the Electoral Act which caps election expenses for House of Representatives seats at N70,000,000.

He added that this will affect all politicians running for office irrespective of their party affiliations. According to him, in many places, there are no banks, or ATMs to ensure that party agents and others are paid during the election.

“And don’t forget the point I made as a partisan member that the policy in itself is against the ruling party because Nigerians that are not happy will look at it as a policy of the government of the APC. This has placed us at disadvantage already,” he added.

He argued that while the move is good, it is ill-timed.

“Some of us see a lot of good things about the policy, but our worry as members of the ruling party is, why now?

“30-40 days to elections you come out with a policy that is not widely accepted by Nigerians and whether we like it or not that will be seen as the program of the government,” he said.

“So those of us in the APC are not happy about it,” Doguwa maintained.

Buhari’s CBN directive falls short of Supreme Court Order – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reintroduce the old N200 note into circulation as a step in the right direction.

However, the Speaker said the President’s directive falls short of the Supreme Court order that the old currencies remain legal tender pending the adjudication of a pending suit brought by state governments on the legality of the policy and its implementation.

In a statement on Thursday, Gbajabiamila said it is not to the benefit of our country for the Federal Government to act in ways that suggest a wanton disregard for the rule of law. According to him, it will be better for the government to strictly adhere to the court’s order in this matter pending the adjudication of the substantive suit.

The Speaker urged Nigerians to bear this moment with equanimity, adding that “for the sake of our country, we must work together to resist actions that escalate tensions and endanger our democracy at this crucial moment of national awakening and rebirth.”

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