The Rivers State government headed by Governor Nyesom Wike has vowed to join a suit at the Supreme Court which is seeking a permanent halt of the February 10 deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the use of old naira notes.
Wike said this on Wednesday when he went to campaign for the PDP governorship and state assembly candidates at the Ogu/Bolo LGA of the state.
It’s earlier reported that the All Progressive Congress-controlled governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States had via an exparte motion asked the Supreme Court to restrain the Central Bank of Nigeria from implementing its naira redesign policy which fixed February 10 as the deadline for the use of old notes.
They argued that the new naira notes were not sufficiently in circulation thereby inflicting hardship on residents.
The apex court on Wednesday morning granted their prayers by temporarily halting the deadline while fixing February 15 for the determination of the main suit which seeks further extension of the deadline among other things.
Wike commended the APC governors that instituted the suit, saying at the rally that his attorney will join the suit against the federal government.
He added that Nigeria’s democracy cannot survive without the support of INEC, security agencies, and the judiciary.
“Let me on behalf of the government of Rivers state commend the Nigerian Supreme Court for what they have done today, to save the masses of this country and to save democracy.
“Today, the Supreme Court has stopped the Central Bank of Nigeria from planning on stopping the old Nigerian notes.
“The Supreme Court has shown that the hope of the common man lies in the Judiciary.
“And let me commend my brother states like Kogi, Kaduna, and Zamfara states who took it upon themselves to go and challenge the federal government at the Supreme Court.
“I also want to say that Rivers state government will join them in that suit to challenge what the CBN is doing. We will not support that we do against the masses, anything that will make the masses to suffer.
“I want to say that we are not part of that PDP group who is supporting this kind of action, we, PDP Rivers state, we will not support this kind of action,” Wike said.
There were reports that Wike had directed the state structure of the PDP to mobilize and campaign for the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Although the governor promised to announce who he would direct the state chapter of the party to support by January, he however failed to do so.
This recent plan by the governor to join the suit against FG at the Supreme Court is proof that he supports the thinking of the APC state governments that initiated the suit.
The suit also aligns with the position of Bola Tinubu whose media aide Bayo Onanuga described the CBN policy as “sheer madness on the part of the monetary authorities.”
Upon instituting the suit for joinder, the apex court will determine if the Rivers state government would be joined as an interested party.