The current sabotage of the Naira notes swap and fuel scarcity that has caused untold hardship to millions of Nigerians across the country revealed the true character of Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as public enemy number one.
Nigerians will recall that since the Central Bank introduced its current cash limit and new Naira notes swap policies, Atiku Abubakar and PDP maintained opportunistic silence with the hope they will benefit from the discomfort the policies will create for Nigerians and the resentment they will generate for the ruling APC.
While Atiku and PDP were in bed with the saboteurs and fifth columnists among the operators of Money Deposit Banks and oil marketers who created the current logjam to force the outcome of the February 25 Presidential election in favour of the former Vice President, our candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu courageously pitched his tent with the poor masses who have been most negatively impacted by the antics of these evil doers.
Having realised they have lost the initiative and their antics exposed to Nigerians by Asiwaju Tinubu at the APC Presidential Campaign rally in Abeokuta, Atiku made a half-hearted appeal to CBN to ‘slightly’ extend the deadline for the currency swap.
We are currently at a loss to understand what informed the current call of Atiku on CBN not to extend the February 10 deadline despite the unmitigated hardship still being faced by many Nigerians who could not meet their basic daily needs as a result of lack of cash from banks and the empty ATM machines.
Anyone who lives in Nigeria and not Dubai and visits banks and ATM locations will feel sad that the CBN is making our people suffer for its badly timed Naira swap policy.
The bank’s latest fire brigade approach in approving payment of N20,000 at the counter is far from offering relief as queues are still long, agony and frustrations widening, an invitation to riots.
This poorly implemented policy has turned Nigerians to destitutes because they cannot access their own money in their bank accounts. People cannot get money to give their kids to school or pay for daily needs at corner shops, and fruit shops, including buying newspapers. Transactions in marketplaces have plummeted.
The CBN governor gave insight into the nature of the problem when he revealed in Daura last Sunday that out of the N3.3 trillion in circulation, only N500 billion is in the bank vaults. So far only N1.9 trillion had been received by the banks for swap.
But people are not getting the new notes to spend, thus triggering huge anger in the land against Emefiele.
We thus find it ludicrous that a man who joined the call for an extension of the deadline last week is championing a new campaign against the further extension because he feels the suffering of Nigerians will serve his own political end to become president at all cost.
Atiku said callously: “There should be no further postponement of the new naira regime after the expiration of the February 10 deadline.”
Anchoring his objection on the wrong reason, he said further: “The CBN and the Presidency should be steadfast. The merits of the new naira policy far outweigh the little inconvenience we are experiencing.”
In passing off the suffering of our people as “Little inconvenience”, Atiku only comes across as a political leader disconnected from the Nigerian people that he is campaigning to govern. Certainly, living comfortably in Dubai for many years has drained Atiku of all empathy.
This is a man who wants to be President and does not mind even if he presides over the graves of Nigerians as long as his inordinate ambition materialises in line with the prophecy of his marabouts.
It is crystal clear to every Nigerian of conscience now that Atiku Abubakar and PDP do not mean well for our country. PDP and Atiku have become desperadoes who will wish calamity on the country as long as it makes them win an election they are destined to lose, spectacularly.
Atiku is now public enemy number one in Nigeria. He is evil personified and must be rejected at the polls on 25 February.
If Atiku Abubakar has the poor people of our country at heart like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the PDP candidate will not be advocating for adherence to a policy that has become a burden too heavy to bear for our people.
Bayo Onanuga is Director, Media and Publicity APC Presidential Campaign Council