The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Friday night said the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, was “ill-managed, ill-implemented, and ill-timed.”
Governor Bello said this during a one-on-one interview on the Politics Today programme of Channels Television on Friday night.
Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, had on February 5 dragged the Federal Government to court over the naira redesign and cash withdrawal policies, following tension in the country resulting from the deadline issued by the CBN for the stoppage of the use of the old notes.
The governors had argued that the demonetisation policy by the CBN was not in compliance with extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the CBN Act 2007, and other laws on the subject.
Bello said the aim of the court battle was to ensure that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), finished the rest of his term in strong fashion, adding that the governors approached the court after attempts had been made to think through the policy.
“Mr. President is winding down, people like us, we want Mr. President to finish very strong. And so, a policy came up that is ill-managed, ill-implemented and ill-timed, that is ravaging this country, affecting the common man, and everyone in this country, affecting the economy, affecting the smooth-running of our states. We swore to protect lives and livelihoods in our states, and this policy is impeding on that.
“Hence, we had to, after various attempts, …we had no other option than to go to court. And today we have been vindicated. The party has been vindicated, and Mr. President himself is appreciative of the decision of the Supreme Court.”
Bello used the opportunity to appreciate governors of the APC, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and the Supreme Court, noting that the ruling of the apex court was not just about the redesign policy, but had also touched the democracy of the country, and had laid the foundation for conversations bordering on restricting and true fiscal federalism.
Asked about allegations by the Kogi Central Senatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, that he was after her, Bello said, “I don’t know why my name is so sweet in her mouth that she would continue to mention me. Let me tell you and other Nigerians, do you know I do not lose sleep over her mentioning my name? Either rightly or wrongly. Do you know why? Because she knows what is paining her. Please I think Nigerians should ask Natasha, what does she really want? Every now and then, today she is contesting for this position, whether I am contesting or not, she keeps mentioning me. Tomorrow she is contesting for another, she’s mentioning me. Please ask her, what does she want?”
Reacting to the questions of a clip where a local government chairman was seen tearing ballot papers, Bello said he had left the matter to the security agencies to determine the veracity or not.