Wike slams Buhari over new directive on old naira notes

Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State has lashed out at President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent order concerning new and old naira notes. Recall that Buhari had on Thursday directed the apex bank to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days. The President, however, said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in the country. In a media chat on Thursday, Wike said with the new directive to the apex bank, President Buhari has overruled the Supreme Court order that says old notes remain legal tender. The governor stated that the President would have obeyed the apex court ruling and not interfered, describing the directive as “corporate interference”. Governor Wike said the advisers of the President should have urged him to respect the Supreme Court order. He said: “The Supreme Court has given an interim order, we should have waited for it. As far as I am concerned, it is corporate interference that is not good for our system, and for our democracy.“The highest court of the land has made a pronouncement. The Supreme Court has said not to do anything that will affect the use of the old naira note.“I feel that (the President’s declaration) is not the proper thing and I am not happy.“This also tells us how we do not respect or obey the rule of law. At this level, the advisers to Mr President would have said, ‘This issue is subject to litigation, and any step you take will one way or the other affect the Supreme Court’s (stance)’.” Recall that the CBN had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 following complaints by many Nigerians. But the Supreme Court held that the Federal Government, the CBN, and commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue on February 22.