The governor of Kano State, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to defer his January 30 and 31 planned visit to the state due to insecurity and complaints from locals about difficulty in swapping the old N200, N500 and N1, 000 notes for the new ones.
The governor made the request in a letter to the president in a statement signed issued in Kano by Ganduje’s media aide, Mr. Abba Anwar.
The statement said the decision was taken on Friday (yesterday) at the government house during an interactive session with scholars, legislators, political leaders and the business community.
According to Anwar, 52 lawmakers made up of two serving senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), 20 house of representatives members and 20 legislators from the state house of assembly attended the meeting and okayed the decision.
The governor was quoted as saying that lawmakers from the state, political leaders, and the business community backed the decision to postpone the planned visit while urging for the extension of the deadline to return the old naira notes.
“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by the limited time given for halting the use of old naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and for security reasons, Kano State governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals that the state resolved and wrote to Presidency that, the visit of the President to commission some projects to be postponed.
“As we are waiting for this important visit, we found ourselves in this situation, which puts citizens into untold hardship. For security purposes, we wrote to Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Kano is postponed.
“We got an acknowledgement copy of the letter. People are suffering because of this policy.
“During the meeting with sections of citizens in the state, they accepted that the decision was a unanimous one. As they all spoke in support of the letter sent to the Presidency.
“Two serving senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and Barau Jibrin, Twenty members of the House of Representatives and Thirty legislators from the State House of Assembly were amongst the groups that put their weight behind the governor,” the statement said.
The media aide said the governor expressed concerns about the number of banks in the state’s rural communities.
“There are no banks in most of our rural communities. How these people get new Naira notes is of great concern. Just look at what is happening in our urban areas, people go and spend hours upon hours in banks and without any assurances of getting the new notes.
“Even at point of sales, according to the governor, one cannot transact with ease, hinting that, many of them closed shops due to uncertainty.
“Kano, being a commercial hub, must be heard loudly and clearly because this problem affects all of us. Therefore our voice must be heard in all nooks and crannies,” he added.
Anwar said Ganduje and other governors sent delegates to Buhari, regardless of their party affiliation, to express their displeasure with the new development.
“Governors from all the political parties put heads together and sent delegates, but to no avail; so also traditional rulers followed the same path, but individually. But up to now, there is nothing in that respect,” he said.