The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed, has said the directive by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to residents in the state to defy the monetary policy of the government and continue to spend the old bank notes was close to treason.
Baba-Ahmed who was speaking on Friday during a press conference wondered why states that contributed the highest number of votes towards the victory of President Muahammau Buhari at the polls to emerge as president could be at the forefront of the fight against the policy.
He was speaking against the directive issued by El-Rufai to the effect that the president was wrong to have issued a directive contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court, and urged the people to continue to spend their old bank notes.
He assured the people that he would personally collect the old bank notes after the election and return them to the CBN.
The president had earlier addressed the country where he relaxed for the time being a section of the policy to allow the reuse of the old N200 bank note, insisting that the N500 and N1000 notes remained phased out.
The LP vice presidential running mate wondered “why would you as the commander-in-chief give an executive order and it is clearly constitutional and a state governor would say you should continue exchanging those currencies.
“This is to say there are two authorities. Why President Buhari is silent about this is best known to him.
“Immunity does not mean that the offense has not been committed,” he averred.
He added that, “These are the states (kicking against the naira swap policy) that contributed about the largest votes for Buhari – Kano, Kaduna – but these are states in the forefront of fighting Buhari’s government because of currency.
“These are state governments who have not fought over failure to secure Nigerians. Their states have become so insecure.
“They didn’t challenge Buhari when the naira fell from N200 to N750.
“It is with this drama in the election that they are challenging him to the extent of giving counter orders…You know, treason. It is close to treason; lawyers will tell you that better.”
On why the president should not have addressed the country regarding the policy, he noted that, “It was very strange that the attorney-general of the federation allowed Mr President to proceed with yesterday’s national broadcast.
“It was unfortunate. The least I know is that when a competent court of jurisdiction, for that matter, the supreme court is addressing an issue, all parties stay action.
“However, I have submitted in the second paragraph that we are more than bewildered by the poor quality of leadership in Nigeria. That is the only way I can explain this phenomenon.
“The supreme court has adjourned ruling and a commander-in-chief goes and takes another action. This is classic, poor, quality leadership.”