The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday in Abuja, said he was not backing the All Progressives Candidate presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to clinch any political appointment.
El-Rufai argued that his recent comments are not targeted at the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
He also boasted that his weight in Nigeria’s political space puts him beyond needing a godfather.
The governor spoke in the Hausa language shortly after the Progressives Governors Forum members met the President at the State House, Abuja, over the new naira policy.
El-Rufai, who earlier joined his counterparts from other states, has been the subject of controversy lately when he said some persons in the Aso Rock Villa are working to sabotage the emergence of the APC flagbearer, Tinubu, as President.
Speaking on a Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, last Wednesday, he explained that the persons in question were aggrieved that Tinubu defeated their candidate in the June 2022 APC presidential primaries.
He cited the naira redesign policy as one of several schemes targeted at Tinubu, who made a similar claim a week earlier.
Speaking at the State House, he said, “I am not criticising Buhari. I have never criticised Buhari. I am only criticising those around him who do not tell him the truth, who do not tell him the challenges that the people are facing because of these policies.
“We support the President’s policies because we know the real reason why he is implementing them. But these policies are not being carried out correctly and they are not telling him that.
“That is why those of us who really love the President are telling him the truth. Not those who are trying to use him. And the President knows that.”
The governor argued that his outspoken support for the APC flagbearer is not to lobby to be a godson under any prominent figure.
“Which godfather am I looking for? Tinubu is our candidate and we want him to win. But I am telling you now that I am not looking for an appointment. I swear I am beyond needing a godfather.
“I am not looking for work or money. I look up to God for everything I am looking for, not a human being.”
Earlier, the governor revealed that the PGF wants the President to prevail on the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow the old and new naira notes to co-exist.
They believe this would ease the scarcity of naira notes and its ancillary effects.
El-Rufai argued that the move had become necessary as the CBN mopped up over N2tn of the old notes but only printed N300bn of the new ones.
According to him, the new notes in circulation are insufficient for Nigerians.
“We informed the President about this. And he said within the next seven days, he would talk to the CBN and other agencies. He also said the commercial banks are at fault and he will see how to resolve this.
“But he didn’t indicate whether or not there will be an extension. He only said he will have to find out what is really happening. We in the states have seen that if this issue is not brought under control, it may lead to tension across the nation. It can mar the elections and even prevent the conduct of elections altogether,” El-Rufai said.
The former FCT minister said the CBN’s cashless policy should have been preceded by printing at least half of the amount mopped up, N1tn.
He lamented that many Nigerians were suffering even as traders of perishable goods lost their wares from low patronage daily.
Citing tomatoes as an example, El-Rufai said some sellers from the North who travelled to Lagos with their goods experienced wastage because buyers lacked the cash to purchase them.
“If you consider some states and local government areas, they don’t have banks. Some have challenges with the PoS outlets. As a result, people cannot buy goods in the market.
“Those trading tomatoes from the North to Lagos are running at a loss because their goods are getting spoiled. No money to buy them”, he said.
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