Governor Nasir El-Rufai has lamented that with President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to re-circulate old N200 notes alongside newly redesigned notes, the policy will play against its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
According to him, opponents of Tinubu have huge funds at their disposal ahead of the general elections.
The governor spoke on Thursday while addressing the people of Kaduna amid the scarcity of new naira notes after the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes.
El-Rufai said the CBN and other “disgruntled” federal officials convinced President Muhammadu Buhari that it is fine for ordinary citizens to be dispossessed of their hard-earned money.
The governor decried the extent to which small and medium-sized businesses are deprived of access to their capital, thereby bringing trade and exchange to a grinding halt. El-Rufai confirmed that attempts to get the Buhari administration to modify implementation of the policy to avoid unintended consequences were unsuccessful.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, stalwart said those painted before the President as the real targets of the currency redesign have not been affected in any way.
“Indeed, two of the presidential candidates, and a running mate of the opposition parties own or have preferred access to some of the licensed banks. “For that reason and by various clandestine arrangements, these politicians have access to hundreds of millions of these new notes,” he noted.
El-Rufai told the public that in all of these, traders, merchants, students and other citizens have been queuing for days to withdraw a few thousands just to buy food and necessaries. According to him, the plan to redesign the naira was implemented against the party’s presidential candidate, Tinubu.
“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. ” El-Rufai stated.
The former FCT Minister condemned politicians who either own banks or have privileged access to money for “recklessly endorsing a policy that is being badly implemented”.
El-Rufai added that a presidential candidate raised his voice against the recommendation of APC governors, and the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, for an extension of implementation timeline.