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Ganduje makes U-turn, says Buhari free to visit Kano as planned


Barely few hours after Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje advised President Muhammadu Buhari against visiting his state, he has now rescinded his early decision, saying the president was now free to go ahead with his scheduled Monday visit to the state.

He changed his mind after he led a delegation from the state to meet with President Buhari in his country home in Daura, Katsina State on Sunday.

According to Ganduje, “We are now 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 some stakeholders including scholars, legislators, political leaders and business community in the state, revealed that his government had requested the President to postpone the trip, saying that the state was deeply concerned about the hardship principally induced by the ongoing cash swap from old to redesigned notes.

He said the decision was taken to avoid any unforeseen circumstance.

Consequently, the state government wrote a letter to the President outlining the reasons why the planned visit is no longer auspicious at this time.

In a statement issued on Saturday by Abba Anwar, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, the decision to advise the President against the visit was endorsed by the critical stakeholders of the state.

The statement by the governor’s spokesman reads in parts: “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.

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“As we are waiting for this important visit, we found ourselves in this situation, which puts citizens into untold hardship. For security purpose we wrote to 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.”

But despite the Governor’s objection, Buhari had made up his mind to go 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.”