National vice president of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene has faulted the state governors countering President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on the naira redesign and withdrawal of old N500 and N1000 notes from circulation, saying they have no right whatsoever to challenge the authority of the president.
Some state governors have even gone as far as ordering their citizens to continue using the old naira notes as legal tender.
The governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, specifically stated that the policy will be cancelled if the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, wins the presidential election on February 25.
However, while he admitted the challenges the new policy was causing Nigerians, Okeke-Ogene insisted that opposing the president in the way the governors were doing amounted to treasonous felony.
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He said: “We have only one Commander-in-Chief and he has made a nationwide broadcast stating the way he wants the matter to be resolved and these governors should abide by the president’s directive.
”If they don’t like what the president has done, they should approach the court, but not to incite Nigerians against the government. We don’t want our democracy to be derailed.
”What they are doing is treasonable offense and so we condemn their action because the situation in the country does not require further tension being created by these governors.”
He pleaded with Nigerians to make sacrifices for the good of the country, even as he urged the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to make available the old N200 they have agreed to put back in circulation and the new naira notes to mitigate the current hardship faced by the people.
”It is unacceptable to subject the people to queue endlessly in the banks to get their money. The idea of naira swap is okay, but not making it available is not good”, he said.
He observed that Nigerians were eager to participate in the forthcoming election, reminding them that what is happening in some states might be a ploy to disrupt the election.
“Let the people endure because I believe that the situation will normalize after the election. For instance, the fuel scarcity has started easing and so they should know that the problem of naira availability will soon become a thing of the past.
”It is just for a few more weeks and we will survive it. I believe the president is fully in charge and with his assurance to the nation, the election will be peaceful and credible and there is no need for people to panic,” Okeke-Ogene stated.