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Old notes: Matawalle defends suit against FG, says critics are misguided

Governor Bello Mattawalle of Zamfara State has defended the suit that he and Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) filed against the Federal…

Governor Bello Mattawalle of Zamfara State has defended the suit that he and Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) filed against the Federal Government over the naira redesign.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which redesigned the naira, had fixed January 31 as the deadline of the old notes to be legal tender.

But the deadline was extended to February 10 after intense pressure on the government and the apex bank.Last week, Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank was not considering extending the deadline.

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors had met with President Buhari over the issue and the president asked them to give him seven days to look into it.

But the governments of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states headed for the court to challenge the CBN.

In its ruling on Wednesday, a seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro halted the Federal Government’s move.

While some persons praised the governors for their actions, others criticised them.

Responding in a statement which his Special Adviser on Media, Zailani Bappa, issued on his behalf, Matawalle said he was convinced that the action and triumph at the court were either misguided or blinded by political chauvinism.

Matawalle said, “I and my Kaduna and Kogi states counterparts found it necessary to approach the Supreme Court to save Nigeria’s economy from being plunged into more crisis.

“Our action will also relieve the excruciating pain the ordinary Nigerian is experiencing in the face of scarcity of both the old and new naira notes.

“It is common sense to say that the CBN and Commercial banks must make the new Naira notes available for day-to-day business transactions before the old naira notes are declared illegal.

“The decision of the Supreme Court Judges on this matter was the best way to address the current problem and its impending consequences at the moment.

“At this critical time of our transition, it is only patriotic for all of us to put political considerations aside and address the challenges at hand so that together, we can cross the bridge ahead of us.”

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