The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, says the naira redesign policy was initiated by a cabal around President Muhammadu Buhari to cause chaos in the country and ultimately trigger a military takeover of government.
Mr El-Rufai, who spoke during a live broadcast titled “Let us stand up strongly for democracy, peace and national unity,” said some politicians who lost presidential and gubernatorial primaries are behind the policy.
He said the plan was to cause scarcity of naira notes coupled with the shortage of fuel which may lead to serious protests and military interruption of the nation’s democracy.
He added that those behind the new policy also hoped that the policy would compel the government to postpone elections, resulting in the enthronement of an interim government taking over.
“They also sought to achieve any one or more of the following objectives: create a nationwide shortage of cash so that citizens are incited to vote against APC candidates across the board resulting in massive losses for the Party in all the elections;
“Ensure that the cash crunch is so serious, along with the contrived and enduring fuel shortage existing since September 2022, that the 2023 Elections do not hold at all, leading to an Interim National Government to be led by a retired Army General.
“Sustain the climate of shortage of fuel, food and other necessities, leading to mass protests, violence and breakdown of law and order that would provide a fertile foundation for a military take-over,” he said.
The governor said the officials who sold the idea to Mr Buhari hoped for a situation where small and medium-sized businesses are deprived of their capital which will make tempers high.
He said he has no regrets for speaking publicly against the president because he was convinced that Mr Buhari would one day appreciate what he is doing.
“In the pursuit of these objectives, the Central Bank of Nigeria and these other disgruntled Federal officials have so far convinced the President that it is fine for ordinary citizens to be dispossessed of their hard-earned money and starved if need be, while small and medium-sized businesses are deprived of access to their capital, thereby bringing trade and exchange to a grinding halt. All our efforts to modify the implementation of the policy to avoid what we assumed were unintended consequences were unsuccessful.
“I chose to speak out first as one person that has been particularly close to the President, believing that his actions were motivated by innocence, and mindful of his legacy. I have no regrets about doing my duty in this regard. One day, the President will appreciate what some of us are being insulted for today,” he said.
Mr El-Rufai said the policy was not conceived with the best of intentions and is aimed at stopping the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu from emerging president.
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.
He said governors supported the idea publicly because they were convinced it was in the interest of the country especially when it was explained that the policy would help in tackling money laundering and stop politicians who accumulated wealth through corrupt ways.
Mr El-Rufai is among the most vocal governors against the naira redesign policy. He, alongside his colleagues from Kogi and Zamfara sued the federal government at the Supreme Court over the policy. After its hearing on 15 February, the court adjoined till 22 February to continue hearing in the case.
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