El-Rufai, Sanusi Lamido disagree on naira policy

Ex-emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sani has expressed a divergent opinion from that of his bosom friend, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state on the naira redesign policy. El-Rufai has continued to oppose the policy, citing its resultant hardship on the people. He explained that the policy is rather a ‘currency confiscation’, due to the inability of Nigerians who had deposited their old notes to withdraw the redesigned currency.

But, in his own view,  Muhammadu Sanusi, said that politicians opposed to the policy are only being ‘manipulative’ and warned the public to disregard them.

He said, “Nigerians should be careful with what politicians say. Politicians will suffer more from the policy not ordinary Nigerians. They spend four years looting public funds and torturing their people, yet when another election round comes; they bring the money to buy votes and security apparatus and INEC officials and sponsor thugs to destabilize elections process,” Sanusi, said.

Sanusi, whom former President Goodluck Jonathan removed unceremoniously as CBN governor in 2015 and, later, deposed by Governor Abudullai Ganduje as emir of Kano, said “the policy would reduce rigging and similar activities during election.”

He added, “Nigerians should welcome this new policy as it will give them a chance to vote whom they like, not those who can hire thugs or buy votes during elections.

“This policy (naira redesign policy) has been under way for more than 10 years. And Nigeria is ripe for the policy since we have way of transaction apart from physical currency (bank notes or coins).”

At the same time, the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Wednesday would be hearing the suit filed by Governor El-Rufai and nine other governors, aiming to stop the policy.

In their consolidated suit, the governors are urging the Apex Bank to overrule President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to vary its order stopping the implementation of the controversial policy. The Supreme Court had ruled on an exparte motion restraining the federal government and its agents from enforcing the policy while stating that the old banknotes should remain legal tenders until the determination of the substantive suit on the matter.

In a national broadcast last week, the President insisted that the old N500, and N1, 000 banknotes were no longer legal tenders. He also ordered the CBN to re-circulate the old N200 banknotes initially included among the demonetised banknotes.

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