APC campaign council blasts Atiku over U-turn on naira redesign policy

APC campaign council blasts Atiku over U-turn on naira redesign policy

The Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has blasted Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP, over his sudden switch condemning the naira redesign policy of the CBN

Atiku, who had previously supported the policy when the CBN newly introduced it, however, took a new position on Monday in a post on his Facebook page, saying the policy has inflicted untold hardship on Nigerians.

Two PDP governors – Duoye Diri of Bayelsa and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State – are in support of the policy, though their counterpart in Sokoto State – Governor Aminu Tambuwal, has expressed his displeasure over the policy and its attendant disastrous consequences on ordinary Nigerians.

The former vice president in the post had called on the CBN to, as a matter of urgency, allow commercial banks to join in the collection of the deposits of old N500 and N1000 notes.

He said the new currency notes should be immediately made available in sufficient quantities to alleviate the suffering of the masses.

He assured that “when we come to power by the mandate of your votes, the PDP administration will not allow any Nigerian who legitimately earned their money to lose a single kobo If it.

“You can take that promise to the bank because our aim is to create prosperity and not to impoverish our people.”

The latest position of the PDP candidate in the 25 February presidential election contrasts sharply with his previous comments supporting the policy

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The APC campaign council in a statement on Monday said Atiku has been making treacherous and shifting positions since the current currency crisis started.

“In line with his well-documented inconsistencies and unreliability, Atiku has advanced several contradictory positions, in the fruitless hope of gaining political advantage from the crisis,” the statement said in part.

The statement signed by Bayo Onanuga, the campaign council’s director of media and publicity, noted that “Atiku and his hopeless party first hailed the CBN policy to high heavens when they initially thought it was a policy deliberately designed to stop Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from becoming the next elected president of Nigeria.”

“Atiku called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor to ensure strict implementation of the policy and the deadline of 31 January because, in his and party’s short-sightedness and gross miscalculation, Tinubu was the prime target.”

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The statement noted that Atiku’s position exploded on his face when the unintended consequences of the CBN policy manifested in its full ramifications and crippled the entire populace.

“Atiku capitulated and sought to claim some credit by asking the CBN to ‘slightly shift’ the deadline of 31 January 2023.

“The CBN and the FG to which Atiku and his party have suddenly become the cheerleaders listened to all the voices of reason and shifted the deadline for the currency swap till 10 February.”

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On 1 February, Atiku took another public position, asking the CBN not to shift the deadline again

“There should be no further postponement of the new Naira regime after the expiration of the February 10 deadline. The vote riggers are seeking to push the CBN to extend till after the election when they would have achieved their evil plots. The CBN and the Presidency should be steadfast. The merits of the new Naira policy far outweigh the little inconvenience we are experiencing”, he wrote in a widely circulated statement

The 10 February deadline also proved grossly inadequate for the currency swap though the CBN and Mr Buhari have remained adamant about the deadline.

Some governors of the APC challenged the implementation of the policy at the Supreme Court and got an interim order asking the CBN to allow the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to remain legal tender with the new notes.

Amid the widespread misery and the currency scarcity that the Naira swap policy has created for Nigerians with violent protests rocking some parts of the country, the APC campaign council said: “Atiku’s position proved once again an egregious miscalculation and clearly anti-people.”

READ ALSO: Naira Redesign: APC backs governors against Buhari, Emefiele

“But with just five days away from the presidential election, Atiku wants to cash in on the mood of the country with his latest faux empathy. He is now asking CBN to allow Nigerians to deposit their N500 and N1000 old notes in commercial banks, after thousands of desperate Nigerians jammed the CBN offices in Lagos and other places, hoping to deposit their old currency and get the new notes.”

“It is generally a bad time for poor and hapless Nigerians as currency scarcity has become the norm. The chameleonic politician forgot that he once described the suffering our people are going through some ‘little’ inconvenience,” the statement said.

The campaign council said it recognised Atiku’s desperation to be President and like a “chameleon, this unprincipled and unstable politician will change positions on any issue as long as he thinks it will help his perennial ambition.”

The statement advised Nigerians to run away from Atiku, saying a man like the PDP candidate with no strong conviction and strength of character cannot offer the kind of leadership the country needs.

The campaign council said Nigeria needs a consistent and steady leader who will stand firm and upright when it is convenient and when it is not convenient.

“Asiwaju Tinubu is that kind of leader and he has demonstrated that by his principled stand on the current crisis. He has also offered a six-point solution to get the country out of the current morass,” the statement said.

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