The vituperative and treasonable broadcast of Governor Nasir El-Rufai to the people of Kaduna State on Thursday should ordinarily give cause for concern to every patriotic Nigerian. The broadcast aside being confrontational with the policy stand of Nigerian federal government; it is also in complete variance with the orders given by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The broadcast of Governor El-Rufai came some hours after the early morning 'state of the nation address by President Buhari on Thursday. The president made himself unambiguously clear that he was not unmindful of the suit before the supreme court, but still went ahead to pronounce the revalidation of old N200 notes while he equally declared that the other two higher denominations have ceased to be legal tender.
Instruction of the president and Commander-In-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces on the naira policy is clear enough and the counter instruction by Governor Nasir El-Rufai is clearly an incitement to violence. The counter order of Governor El-Rufai is equally a treasonable offence that should attract attention of the law enforcement agencies notwithstanding the constitutional immunity enjoyed by the Kaduna State Governor.
One is not totally unaware of the reality that President Buhari has a record of not obeying court rulings before now. This had happened in the cases of Colonel Dasuki Sambo (Rtd), Ibraheem El-Zakizaki and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. One would have expected Governor El-Rufai to have spoken truth to power at least in one out of the many instances of disobedience of court rulings by President Buhari.
It is however worthy of acknowledgement that the lingering scarcity of new naira notes has undoubtedly inflicted untold hardship and pains on innocent Nigerians including my very self. But we must however come to the quick realization that cutting off a head plagued by headache can never be a good solution.
Agreed that Governor El-Rufai and some other state governors have taken the federal government to the Supreme court over the legal tender status of old N500 and N1000 notes. Nonetheless, we are all witnesses to the order of the supreme court that all parties in the suit should maintain status quo ante bellum pending the determination of the substantive suit. But position of the supreme court should never have been enough reason for Governor El-Rufai to have usurped the constitutional power and authority of President Buhari.
The self seeking broadcast of Governor El-Rufai has unfortunately
elevated him to the position of a president alongside President Muhammadu Buhari. It is most disturbing that personal interests and political desperation have sadly blindfolded El-Rufai to the point of outright disregard for the person and orders of a sitting president.
Beyond the facade of plea for calm and peace in Governor El-Rufai's broadcast, the true intent of the Kaduna Governor is to incite Nigerians to violence. He even disappointedly alluded to a grand plot of coup d'etat as well as a scheme to frustrate the forthcoming elections with the hope of foisting interim government to be headed by a retired Army General on Nigerians.
These are grave allegations and the law enforcement agencies are expected to swiftly interrogate Governor El-Rufai. The Kaduna State Governor needs to tell the DSS what he knows about coup d'etat that the rest of us probably did not know. He must also desist from teaching the Central Bankers how to carry out their duties. He apparently did not know the back-end operations of the CBN and should stop dishing out confusing figures that are capable of inciting to masses to violent protests.
In addition, grave allegations of El-Rufai should also call for urgent attention and reactions by the federal government.
Notwithstanding the immunity of Governor El-Rufai, he can still be investigated and have security search lights beamed around him in the meantime . It will also not be out of place for the president to declare a state of emergency in the whole of Kaduna State in a bid to ease El-Rufai from office and also stop him from unnecessarily hitting up the polity .
It is on record that Governor El-Rufai has not before now identify with the talakawas in his state until recently. How on earth can a governor that sacked more than 60,000 workers from the work force of Kaduna State ever lay claim to championing the cause of the poor. One would have expected El-Rufai and his co-travellers to have taken the federal government to court before now over hyper inflation, insecurity, scarcity and hike in the price of petrol if they are truly fighting for the masses.
Truth is that El-Rufai and his co-travellers are simply fighting their for their personal interests and simply using the masses as a decoy. How on earth can the Governor of Kogi State who is unenviably perceived as unmitigated failure in office ever lay claim to being a rescuer of the masses. This is the same governor who has been owing Kogi workers backlog of salaries; but freely kept more than N3billion in the custody of his nephew who till today still in EFCC custody.
More daring is the order of Governor El-Rufai that he would help to collate and take old naira notes of the people of Kaduna State to the CBN after the elections. This counter order is also in flagrant disregard of the earlier order given by President Buhari on Thursday morning. Definitely, this is the height of the excessiveness and demonstration of executive rascality by the diminutive Governor of Kaduna State and security agencies must not shirk their constitutional responsibilities in this regard.
It is a settled aphorism that two wrongs can never make a right. Whatever may have been the reservations of Governor El-Rufai, he ought to have exercised restraint until the Supreme court would make a pronouncement on February 22, 2023. In view of this, usurpation of the powers of the President Buhari by Governor Nasir El-Rufai is totally condemnable and he should be made to answer the charges of treasonable felony.
Meanwhile, on the way out of the current naira scarcity, the solution is multidimensional. To start with, Nigerians must give peace a chance and allow the Money Deposit Banks to return to full service and also put a halt to the destruction and burning of banking facilities. Truth is that the commercial banks are needed to circulate the new and old naira notes and any attempt to destroy banking facilities can only worsen the problem.
On the order hand, the Nigerian Central Bank must as a matter of urgency pump new naira notes into the system and also ensure that the revalidated N200 notes are aggressively made to flood all banks in the country. More so, officials of the CBN must intensify their monitoring duties to put likely saboteurs on their toes. Above all, all erring bank branches must be heavily sanctioned to serve as deference to others.