Governor Dapo Abiodun has begun the distribution of old naira notes to his supporters in Ogun State, in an effort to garner more public support for the fast-approaching general election, amidst allegations that he and other politicians had stocked up notes to induce voters.
In a video seen by Peoples Gazette on Sunday, agents of Mr Abiodun could be seen sharing the old notes in envelopes branded with the governor’s picture, convincing the supporters that the notes remain legal tenders contrary to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy.
“These notes remain legal tender, the governor will come back for an enforcement if banks reject them,” his agent told supporters who tried to protest the validity of the notes.
Mr Abiodun alongside his Lagos and Kaduna counterparts and several other state governors have maintained an undaunting opposition to the directive of the presidency and the CBN on the validity of old notes.
The governors have insisted that the old notes should remain legal tender until the Supreme Court makes a definitive pronouncement on the matter which was earlier adjourned to February 22.
The 10 governors who oppose the president’s directive also approached the apex court over the weekend, seeking to obtain a pronouncement that President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN’s insistence on taking the N1000 and N500 notes out of circulation violate an earlier ruling of the court ordering all parties to maintain status quo.
Political analysts are not united in their perspectives of the situation. While some see the most recent suit against the federal government and the CBN as putting democracy to test, others see it as sheer political selfishness, accusing Governor Abiodun and his colleagues of seeking a free reign of political lawlessness and electoral malpractices during the elections.
The APC governors challenging the federal government have been accused of opposing the CBN policy so as to be able to spend the cash they already have stored for the purpose of influencing the election.