The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of hiding under cash crunch to sponsor nationwide civil unrest to derail the electioneering process in the country.
Spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Charles Aniagwu stated this at a news conference in Asaba.
Aniagwu who was in company with the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika said that the party was in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to recirculate the old N200 notes till April 10 to ease the suffering of the masses.
“We must agree with the President that we appreciate the things that Nigerians are going through on account of the scarcity of the new Naira note redesign.
“We believe that it is important that the CBN takes steps to further ameliorate what the masses are going through. And what the President did today, is a pointer that government is desirous of solving the challenges being experienced by very credible Nigerians as they approach the banks for their monies.
“The decision of the President that authorises the release of the old N200 naira notes into the economy in order to reduce the sufferings of people, is a welcome development.
“We also agree that it is important to take steps to curb corruption, issues of vote buying and that of insecurity, which has been a major problem. So this policy to a large extent, have addressed that.
“We do hope that the sufferings Nigerians are going through will be mitigated by this directive that Mr. President has given the CBN to release the old N200 naira notes up till the 10th of April,” he said.
He appealed for calm and patience to allow the CBN implement the President’s directive, noting that it would to a large extent ameliorate their suffering.
“We want to plead to our people to exercise patient with the government because we have it as intelligence that members of the APC both in the state and at the national level, are trying to take advantage of the pains in the minds of Nigerians to trigger some form of crisis with a view to derailing this election.
“What you saw happening in a number of places does not show the real pains in the minds of Nigerians who have demonstrated understanding with the government’s policy.
“You have seen what happened in Warri and Udu areas of Delta. Some are burning billboards and shops. The question is, do we keep the redesigned naira notes on bill boards or in those local shops?
“So it is not proper for us to inflict pains on our fellow Nigerians. Therefore, it tells you that this protest is coming from somewhere with a view to creating crisis.
“Secondly, our brothers and sisters work in these bank branches and earn monies from the banks. So even if you burn down the banks, you are also causing pains for this our brothers who are going to lose their jobs on the account that the bank branch where they work is destroyed or closed.
“So we are pleading with Deltans and other Nigerians to please not to fall pray to the antics of those who know that they would lose this election and want to cause mayhem so that they undermine the election.
“We appreciate the pains and hope that the CBN would take immediate steps as directed by the president in order to reduce the suffering of our people at the ATMs.
Aniagwu who doubles as Commissioner for Information in Delta said “Those who might have stock piled money would have done so in the N500 and N1000 naira denominations, adding “we can assure you that the steps they are taking to trigger violence is not because they are fighting for us.
“But because they want to do those things to undermine the peace that we have in Delta and across the federation.
“Since this policy came in, we have it from intelligence agencies that the spate of kidnapping has stopped because if you kidnap anybody and asked the person to get huge sums of money for ransome, where is the person going to get it from?
“It is also on record that it does appear that the naira is stabilising; for those who have tranactions with the dollar. So what needs to be done is to fine tune the policy and not to kill it.
“What the APC is trying to do is to kill the policy so they can afford to bring back these stashed funds that they want to deploy to undermine this election,” Aniagwu stated.
He commended President Buhari for reiterating his commitment to leaving a legacy of free, fair and credible elections.
As the spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, we want to commend the President and pray that the votes of Nigerians will count.
“Those who refused to engage in town halls and debates are now looking up to their monies but with this policy, their monies are already failing them; hence, they are seeking for ways to undermine the policy.
“So we plead with all Nigerians, particularly Deltans for a little more patience in order to enjoy the good things that would come out of this policy of naira redesign.
“We therefore expect and urge the CBN to immediately comply with the directives of Mr. President in order to reduce the sufferings of our people,”
Aniagwu further said “APC leaders did not go to court, or held meetings with Mr. President on account of the fuel scarcity and insecurity in the country but rushed to the courts now because this one is touching them and they will not be able to mortgage the conscience of Nigerians.
“Do not let any politician to use you to demonstrate, while making you feel that they are fighting for you. So please do not go about destroying banks.
“The APC presidential candidate has shown a very undemocratic credentials by not allowing any other party put up billboards in Lagos state.
“We all live in Delta and we see the bill boards of all the other political parties. We allow them to campaign where ever they wish. But it is not so in Lagos. We can not allow Tinubu to make us a one party state,” Aniagwu added.
On his part, Mr Ifeajika urged the judiciary to live up to expectations, adding that some judgements emanating from certain courts were disappointing.
According to him, we need to call on the judiciary to live up to its billings. What the judiciary has been churning out as judgements lately is worrisome. The judicial officers should also remember that they are also Nigerians.
“It will interest you to know that the governors that are challenging this policy in court are all APC governors and that tells us what they are afraid of.
“The judicial officers should be careful not to allow these governors use them to achieve a very bad aim. It may interest you to know that two PDP governors, Edo and Bayelsa have joined in the suit on the side of the Federal government,” he stated.