A meeting called by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and attended by its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, 12 governors and two deputy governors, has called on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to respect the Supreme Court order of interim injunction on
In effect, the party, like its governors in Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, and Ogun that defied the Federal Government, wants the CBN to allow N500 and N1,000 notes which President Muhammadu Buhari says are no longer legal tenders in the country, to run side by side the old N200 note and new notes.
The ruling party’s position comes as lawyers continue to differ over the lifespan of the interim injunction, which the law says has a seven-day lifespan. Many argue the order of the apex court is not an interlocutory injunction which subsists until the determination of a matter, but an interim one with a lifespan.
However, the spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Minister of Labour and Employment and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Festus Keyamo, disagreed on Channels Television last Friday, insisting that the interim injunction of the Supreme Court has no lifespan.
But from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is attending the African Union meeting, President Buhari sent in a message, saying he is fully aware of hardship some policies of government, “which are meant to bring overall improvement to the country” had caused and appealed for further patience as the government takes appropriate measures to ease them.
In a video recording to shore up support for Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the upcoming elections a few days ahead, the President thanked Nigerians for electing him to be President for two terms, and urged them to vote for the APC flag bearer because “he is reliable and I know he will build on our achievements.”
In the campaign message to voters, according to his spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, the President specifically called on “our traditional rulers, religious leaders and parents to warn their followers and wards alike, to not allow themselves to be used by a few to foment trouble.
“I want to assure you that the Government has taken adequate security measures to allow everyone to come out and cast their votes. I am therefore appealing to everyone to give them the necessary support.
“Fellow Nigerians, I want to use this opportunity to once again thank you for electing me to be your President on two occasions.
“I am not a contestant in this election, but my party, the All Progressives Congress, has a candidate in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As I mentioned before, Tinubu is a true believer in Nigeria, who loves the people and the development of our country.
“I am calling on all of you to vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is reliable and I trust he will build on our achievements.
“Finally, I want to once again assure you that I am fully aware of the current hardship you are facing as a result of some policies of the government which are meant to bring overall improvement to the country.
“I am appealing to you to exercise further patience as we take appropriate measures to ease these hardships. God willing, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.”
Though he did not reference the cashless policy, its attendant Naira redesign, and swap of old notes for new, it is generally believed he was referring to it.
The President, the statement adds, emphasised that the APC presidential candidate has demonstrated his commitment to the development of the country and the well-being of its people.
Meanwhile, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the APC National Chairman, in his news conference in Abuja, said the appeal was part of resolutions reached at the emergency meeting between the party’s governors and members of its National Working Committee (NWC) on Sunday in Abuja.
Adamu, who spoke to newsmen at the end of the closed door meeting, said the meeting also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in resolving issues caused by the new Naira note re-design and the cashless economy policy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Supreme Court had in a ruling granted an interim injunction that the CBN and the federal government should suspend the implementation of the Feb.10 deadline for the expiration of the legal tender status of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes.
This, it said, should be pending until the hearing and determination of a suit before it slated for Feb. 22.
Buhari had however on Thursday (Feb. 16), announced that only the old N200 note would remain valid until April 10, while the old N500 and N1000 notes had lost their legal tender status, contrary to the ruling of the apex court.
“Without prejudice or whatsoever to the case that is lying at the Supreme Court at this point in time, that has to do with the issue of currency re-design.
“We note very seriously that the programme and its implementation is causing tremendous difficulties to the people of Nigeria and to the national economy.
“That we urge the Attorney General of the Federation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to respect the Supreme Court order of interim injunction which is still subsisting.
“That the meeting is urging his Excellency, President Buhari, to intervene in resolving issues that are causing this great difficulties to the economy,” Adamu said.
He added that contrary to speculations, the party’s leadership and governors elected on its platform under the agies of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) were on the same page on this matter.
▪︎ Additional report by NAN.