The Kaduna State governor said the naira redesign policy was a “revenge plan” by those who could not get the APC tickets for the 2023 elections.
Updated March 3, 2023
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Friday alleged that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele introduced the naira redesign policy to help the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) win the 2023 general elections.
“Emefiele was appointed Central Bank Governor by the PDP originally. So, let’s not forget where he came from,” El-Rufai said at a media chat just after the Supreme Court ordered that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.
The apex court also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
The court said the policy has led to some people engaging in trade by barter in this modern age in a bid to survive.
Sixteen states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it is inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.
Briefing the media after the judgement, El-Rufai, who witnessed the ruling alongside his brother All Progressives Congress (APC) governors like Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, said the CBN governor deceived President Muhammadu Buhari to actualise the policy.
“He (Emefiele) is the one that out this policy together to help the PDP win the 2023 general elections and deceived the President into thinking that it is possible to withdraw N2trillion from circulation and reprint everything in three months. No country in world history has done it,” the Kaduna governor stated.
‘A Revenge Plan’
El-Rufai, who is a member of the President’s party and the ruling APC, said he and his brother APC governors tried to resolve the matter behind closed doors with the President but no success was achieved hence they approached the apex court of the land.
He also said high-ranking members of the Federal Government who are proponents of the policy supported it because they failed to get the APC presidential and governorship tickets.
El-Rufai said the naira redesign policy was “their revenge plan” for not getting the party’s tickets. While some persons had purchased the APC N100m presidential form for Emefiele, Malami had also picked the N50m governorship form of the party for Kebbi State but both men withdrew from the APC primaries in May.
Addressing the media on Friday, El-Rufai said, “He (Emefiele) deceived the President; he gave the President wrong information and the Attorney General (of the Federation, Abubakar Malami), unfortunately, we have to claim that, that one is from our party, supported this policy. And we know why. Go and look at the antecedents. These are people who want to run for President or governor in our party and didn’t make it. This is their revenge plan.
“Whether the Federal Government obeys the order or not is up to the Federal Government but I know President Muhammadu Buhari very well. He is a man that respects the law.
“Part of the reasons why I convinced my colleagues to go to the Supreme Court is that we are among the closest governors to the President and we wanted to show him if those closest to him disagree with him so publicly on a matter, then you need to reflect on it.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is a man that obeys the law. He may have been misguided by his advisers but now that the Supreme Court has spoken unequivocally, I am confident that all the orders have been complied with,” El-Rufai stated.
The CBN had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 following complaints by many Nigerians but the Supreme Court, after a suit filed by the states, held that the Federal Government, the CBN, commercial banks must not continue with the February 10 deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.
However, the President, in a national broadcast, directed the apex bank to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days — by April 10, 2023. He also said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.
Consequently, the apex court on Friday voided the President’s declaration as well as the naira redesign deadline issued by the CBN and said disobedience of the February 8 order is a sign of dictatorship.