Emefiele introduced naira redesign to help PDP win 2023 elections – El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has 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.

El-Rufai was speaking to journalists on Friday after the Supreme Court declared that the naira redesign was illegal, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.

The apex court also ordered that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.

“Emefiele was appointed Central Bank Governor by the PDP originally. So, let’s not forget where he came from,” El-Rufai said.

“He (Emefiele) is the one that put 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.”

El-Rufai, who witnessed the ruling alongside Governors 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) 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 governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had approached the Supreme Court, asking it to declare the move by the CBN to stop the old naira notes from being a legal tender as illegal.

They argued that the move had brought hardship to the people of their states.

They were later joined by more APC governors in the suit.

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.

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