This is Zikoko Citizen’s Game of Votes weekly dispatch that helps you dig into all the good, bad, and extremely bizarre stuff happening in Nigeria and why they’re important to you.
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For the first time this year, there might be light at the end of the tunnel of suffering for Nigerians. Early morning on February 16, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release old ₦200 notes into circulation. And it should remain the legal tender for the next sixty days, i.e. until April 10, 2023.
But while this news might have come as a surprise for many of us, Kaduna’s state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, like the man who saw tomorrow, predicted this would happen.
Earlier this month, on February 3, 2023, Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states filed a suit at the Supreme Court to contest the February 10 deadline set by the CBN to make the new banknotes the official legal tender. Although the Supreme Court had adjourned the case, El-Rufai disclosed that the federal government had reached out to them to settle out of court. Their offer was to allow the circulation of old ₦200 notes till April 10, 2023, because the CBN was already destroying the old ₦500 and ₦1000 notes. However, the state governors declined the offer, and El-Rufai accused the government of lying about burning the ₦500 and ₦1000 notes.
This isn’t the first time the Kaduna state governor has been in the news for giving us inside gist from Aso rock. On February 1, 2023, he revealed that some people were trying to sabotage the presidential win of the All Progressives Congress (APC). But without waiting for the smoke from that to die out, he dropped another bombshell on February 14, 2023. During an interview, he said that a cabal around our President Bubu was trying to install an interim national government after the presidential elections because their preferred presidential candidate didn’t win the APC presidential primaries.
When asked to give the names of members of this cabal, he shied away by simply saying “they are nothing”. We’re eight days away from the presidential elections, and we can almost be sure that El-Rufai’s training his vocal cords to drop another record soon.
What else happened this week?
NGOs Must Go
Despite the Valentine’s Day celebration, there’s no love lost between Zamfara and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) because, on February 14, 2023, the state government ordered all NGOs to leave immediately.
In a statement by Mamman Tsafe, the state’s commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, he said that some illegal NGOs played a role in fueling insecurity in the state. Security agencies were also ordered to investigate and prosecute any NGO defying the directive.
Video of the week
Question of the week
Due to the Naira scarcity caused by its redesign, protests have recently broken out around the country. Do you think this could cause INEC to postpone the upcoming elections?
Ehen one more thing…
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has repeatedly said that without a Permanent Voter Card (PVC), it would be impossible to vote on election day. But the founder of YIAGA Africa, an NGO, thinks this shouldn’t be so.