By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, has made a reversal barely 24 hours after he advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to proceed to the state for his scheduled Monday visit, declaring the state as now prepared to receive him.
The governor led a delegation of critical stakeholders from the state to meet President Buhari in his country home in Daura, Katsina State on Sunday after which he revealed the change of position to newsmen.
When asked whether the state was prepared to host Buhari on Monday, he said, “We are very much ready to receive him and we have a lot for him to commission including federal government projects and state government projects. They are state-of-the-art projects.”
Ganduje, had in an interactive session with critical stakeholders including scholars, legislators, political leaders and business community in the state, indicated that his government had requested the President to postpone the trip, lamenting that the state was deeply concerned about the hardship principally induced by the ongoing cash swap from old to redesigned notes.
The decision was taken to avoid any unforeseen circumstance, he explained.
Consequently, the state government wrote a letter to the president outlining the reasons why the planned visit is no longer auspicious at this time.
According to a press statement issued on Saturday by Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, the decision to advise the president against the visit was endorsed by the critical stakeholders of the state.
“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by limited time given for halting use of old Naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and for security reasons, the Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, reveals that the state resolved and wrote to Presidency that, the visit of the President to commission some projects be postponed.
“As we are waiting for this important visit, we found ourselves in this situation, which puts citizens into untold hardship. For security purposes we wrote to the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Kano be postponed.
“We got an acknowledgement copy of the letter. People are really suffering because of this policy.
“There are no banks in most of our rural communities. How these people get new Naira notes is of great concern. Just look at what is happening in our urban areas, people go and spend hours upon hours in banks. And without any assurances of getting the new notes,” the statement by the governor’s spokesman read.
Despite Ganduje’s objection, President Buhari had, however, insisted on going ahead with the Monday visit.
Presidency sources had disclosed that he would go there to commission some projects implemented by the federal government.
But during Sunday’s visit to the President, Ganduje affirmed that he led the delegation to Daura over the issue of the ongoing currency swap and was happy with him.
He said: “Seeing is believing.” You can see that I have led a powerful delegation from Kano State on the issue of new naira notes and we have seen Mr. President. We have laid the complaints of the Kano people and we are very happy.
“He explained to us and also assured us that the time is extended and the quantity of new naira (notes) will increase so that the suffering of the people will be reduced.