A senior Presidency source who spoke with our correspondent late Monday revealed that Buhari would meet the governors to discuss, among other things, the nationwide crisis trailing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new naira policy.
The cancelled meeting comes only four days after the President met with governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress after which he appealed to Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis.
Although no reasons were given for the cancellation of Tuesday’s meeting, The PUNCH learned that it was agreed that no major decision could be taken until the end of the seven-day window given by the President last Friday.
Buhari briefly met behind closed doors with the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State; the central bank governor, Godwin Emiefele, and the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa.
Others present were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.
Since the President approved an additional 10-day grace period (February 1 – 10, 2023), mixed reactions have trailed the policy which the President said is aimed at curbing money laundering, electoral malpractices, soaring inflation, amongst others.
On Monday, The PUNCH reported that Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Yahaya Bello and Bello Matawalle of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states respectively, dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court.
The governors prayed the court to declare that the Demonetisation Policy of the Federation currently executed by the CBN under Buhari’s approval contravenes the extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Central Bank of Nigeria Act (2007) and other relevant laws on the matter.
They also prayed that the court declares that the three-month notice issued by the FG and the CBN for the expiration of all old bank notes violates the provisions of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act which says reasonable notice must be given before such a policy and that the limit cannot be outside that provided under Section 22(1) of the CBN Act.
As of the time of filing this report, the Governors of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke; the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, were spotted at the Villa premises.