An emergency meeting of the Council of State, convened by President Muhammadu Buhari will hold on Friday to discuss national crises including petrol and naira scarcity, insecurity and others, ahead of the general elections.

The national crises had led to protests in various parts of the country.

According to Daily Trust, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is expected to provide an update on the new currency redesign policy scheduled to take place at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, at 10 am.

Credible Presidency sources said the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu as well as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, would brief the council on the preparation for the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections as well as March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly polls.

The meeting will take major decisions to douse tension ahead of elections and avert a potential national crisis given anger over the scarcity of new naira notes. The National Council of State is an organ of the Nigerian government whose functions include advising the executive on policy making.

Membership of the Council comprises President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, former presidents, former heads of state, former chief justices of Nigeria, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, governors of the 36 states of the federation and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Tuesday set the agenda for the Council of State ahead of its meeting.

Coming against the backdrop of the naira scarcity and fuel shortage, which has crippled businesses, the group said there must be solutions to the current challenges from the Council of State meeting.

National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi in a chat with Daily Trust, said Nigeria is in a critical moment and tasked members of the council to come up with pragmatic solutions to the crises at hand.

He said, “This is a momentous period in Nigeria given the number of lives that have been lost, given the number of businesses that have collapsed and are in danger as a result of the unavailability of naira, people are queuing in the banks to get the cash they don’t get the cash.

“A lot of lives have been lost in the process and of course, a lot of people are queuing in the petrol stations, they are not getting fuel.

“And within the next few weeks, we would be undergoing elections. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the past presidents and heads of state as well as governors and retired chief justices and all those who are members of the Council of State to realise that this is a crucial moment in the annals of Nigeria.

“We are saying that first, CBN must flood the commercial banks with cash, especially new currencies. Two, the deadline must be extended. February 10 is certainly unrealistic. It must be extended for at least the next three months.”

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