The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on the people and residents of the state to continue spending the old Naira notes, saying that it is only the Supreme Court of Nigeria that has the final say in the matter.
Abiodun who made the call in Abeokuta during an engagement with the by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement that the status quo should remain, hence the need for the people to continue with the old notes.
“There is a court order from the Supreme Court, the highest court in our land that says status quo should be maintained on the matter of this new naira. So, I appeal to you not to be violent, but go ahead and spend the old naira notes.
“I want to apologize for the level of hardship that all of us are facing at this point in time in this country, I want you to know that I as your governor, I have no hand in it, neither do I or any of our colleagues have any part to play in this,” he said.
Speaking further on the issue of cash crunch currently ravaging the country, the governor maintained that though the redesigning of the naira is the obligation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, its implementation was not well outlined to ensure that the people get value for their money paid back into the banks.
The state helmsman while noting that the cashless policy and a redesigning policy are two separate exclusive policies that are not meant to be implemented together, said the governors are doing their best to bring the situation under control.
“As good and laudable as the policy is, we are shocked at its implementation. Why should we want to redesign the naira which of course is the right of the CBN, and then turn it into a sort of cash confiscation policy?
“When you want to redesign the naira, you have an obligation to ensure that every naira that is taken, you give the same value back, that becomes your obligation because it is your choice to redesign the naira.
“Nobody says you cannot have a cashless policy, but a cashless policy and a redesign policy are two separate exclusive policies that are not meant to be implemented together”, Abiodun stated
He reiterated his earlier warning to close down and revoke the C of O of commercial outfits that reject the old note.
“If I catch any merchant, super market or filling station in Ogun State that is not accepting the old naira notes until the determination of the suit before the Supreme Court, I will close that shop and revoke their certificates of occupancy,” he said.
While lauding the body of Christ for constantly praying for the peace and unity of the country, Governor Abiodun said his administration would give 60 percent concession to all religious bodies applying for approval to build their worship centres.
While calling on the CAN leadership to urge Christians to come all out and vote for him to continue with his developmental strides, he also appealed to them to vote for the presidential candidate and other candidates of the All Progressives Congress during the forth coming general elections.
He further called on them to continue to pray and have faith in God as the current challenges facing the country are sumountable.
Earlier in his remarks, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Akin Akinsanya, while noting that the leaders of the Association across the five blocks in the state, had earlier met with Governor Dapo Abiodun where he promised to ensure equal development of the state, without leaving any section unattended to.
Meanwhile, the governor has appealed to the people of the State not to resort to violence over the scarcity of the new naira notes, disclosing that governors in the country are doing their best to lessen the suffering of the people.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen after addressing customers of the Guaranteed Trust Bank, Kuto, Abeokuta, the governor said though the Central Bank of Nigeria has authority over currency regulations, the implementation of the naira swap was not well thought out.
According to the governor, the currency redesigning is a lauded one, but the timing and the haphazard implementation of the policy has brought untold hardship on the people.
“I want to appeal to our people not to take laws into their hands in the form of protest and violence. My colleagues and I are working very hard to address the problem and ensure that our people do not suffer from unnecessary hardship”, he submitted.