Admin l Saturday, February 18, 2023
ABUJA, Nigeria – The Presidency has reacted to public statement made by the sitting Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who has countered President Muhammadu Buhari’s order by saying that residents of Kaduna will continue to make transactions using the old N1000 and N500 notes contrary to what the President said that they are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.
In a statement, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mr. Garba Shehu said the Kaduna State governor is creating confusion with his utterances, stressing that the solution to the Naira swap crisis does not lie in confusing the masses.
But that the president made the broadcast after consultation with relevant stakeholders across the federation.
He said the idea of interim government is a concept of El-Rufai and his fellow travellers but has never come into the minds of the President. He said elections will hold as schedule on Saturday, February 15, 2023.
“Those who peddle it stand to gain nothing- nothing at all -but the creation of panic and the incitement of the public against the federal government. It is another dangerous dimension by people who are afraid that they may lose their elections”, he said, adding “when panic hits, people go into overdrive. Shouting helps no one because no one can listen”, he warned
“Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda Chief of Adolf Hitler said ‘‘Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth’’. This was in the 1930s, before the internet was birthed.
“Let us clearly, specifically and emphatically state that there is absolutely no truth to the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is working towards an interim government or even worse, the truncation of democracy- democracy that he has helped to keep alive not only here at home, in West Africa but throughout the continent.
“The talk of interim government and truncation of democracy is way off the mark. Those who peddle it stand to gain nothing- nothing at all -but the creation of panic and the incitement of the public against the federal government.
“It is another dangerous dimension by people who are afraid that they may lose their elections. Everybody is aware that there is a lot of pressure on everyone-all of us- the party, its elected officials, its candidates and law enforcement agencies following the way the currency swap has gone but the way to go is not to panic. There is indeed a problem and nobody will pretend that it doesn’t exist.
“It is precisely because the President is concerned with this problem that he opened several avenues for consultation with leaders and groups across the country, culminating in his broadcast to the nation on Thursday morning.
“In line with the speech, his clear and unequivocal directive is that the problem of cash supply must be addressed without delay.
“While this is being done, there is no need to panic. We need to work together as leaders; as a people and as one nation. When panic hits, people go into overdrive. Shouting helps no one because no one can listen.
“The solution to the problem is not in sending Nigerians into confusion. Elections, just a week ahead, will hold and Nigerians will vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, (and any others if they so wish) on the basis of their choice.
“Our people want progress, good governance, law and order and will not be swayed by the negative energy that is being expended against a well-meaning currency change.
“Finally, to state that: the President clearly has a favoured successor in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is not in doubt. The fact that Tinubu has been opposed to the speed and timing of the Naira swap timetable does not mean he is against the idea of Nigeria becoming a cashless society. Of course, Tinubu does support a cashless society: for he is a man of the future.
“What should be made crystal clear to the doubters and the speculators and the untruth-tellers is that in no way was the naira swap “engineered” to keep the President in office beyond May 29. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The President looks forward to handing over the reins of power to his elected successor. This will happen on May 29, 2023 as the Constitution requires it. The days of unelected Nigerian leaders, and those who outstay their welcome by unconstitutionally extending it, have gone”, he said.