The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has denied that governors are against the naira redesign because it would prevent them from inducing voters during the forthcoming elections.
According to El-Rufai, governors kicked against the policy as a result of the hardship it had brought upon the citizens, adding that the policy had pitched the All Progressives Congress against the citizens.
The governor, who spoke in an interview with BBC Hausa on Monday, stressed that the currency redesign was not enough to stop voter inducements.
He said, “We reviewed this policy and the hardship it put people into and the feeling of hatred Nigerians developed for the APC because Nigerians are putting the blame on the APC and the people who introduced the policy did it to make our party lose in the election.
“After we finished our review, we agreed that the judgment of the supreme court should be followed, which is that the old and new notes should be used until the case is over.
“Did vote-buying start today? Why was the money not redesigned before? Why now? Secondly, is vote-buying only done with naira? It can be bought using Dollar, Euro, CFA, and you can give the voters food.
“There are several ways through which you can buy votes. You cannot take money out of politics, but you can reduce it.”
He maintained that the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in connivance with opposition party members sold the policy to the president.
El-Rufai said, “We are not against this policy because of vote buying. I swear to God, we are against it because of how we saw people suffering, not the elections.
“The people who pushed for the naira redesign are not members of the APC. You see Godwin Emefiele, it was the PDP that brought him. The others with whom the decision was taken with them know them and when the time comes, will expose them because they are not members of our party.
“God willing on Saturday the masses will retaliate against those who want to drag our party to the ground. whom the APC gave an opportunity to get money more than what will be sufficient for them to do the shopping because some of them knew that shopping in their homes was difficult for them eight years ago, but now, they have more money than you could imagine.”
El-Rufai said the president had refused to reverse the policy because he had been told governors are thieves.
He said, “Because a president is a person who believes in people, and we (governors), our image has been tarnished. He has been told that governors are thieves which is why we are against the naira redesign policy. Even if we go to him and say ‘our leader you have been lied to in this place’, and he says I understand and will take action on it, the moment we depart, he will be told not to take any action. Every person is a nine out of ten. In this regard, we believe the president made a mistake.”