Atiku tasks CBN on naira availability, warns against ‘bullion van tendencies’
• PDP accuses APC of mopping-up cash for vote buying
• Atiku condemns Bakori killings, seeks multi-sectoral solutions to terrorism
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, urged Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to “take urgent measures and make the new currency available and accessible to the public.” He also warned: “Under no circumstance must we allow the outcome of this election to be determined by the bullion van tendencies.”
The signed statement reads: “A few days ago, I had cause to make a statement on the currency conversion policy of the Federal Government. In the said statement, I aligned my position with an upsurge of demands for a slight extension of the January 31 deadline.
“While commending the magnanimity of the CBN for such an extension, it would be pertinent for the agency to take urgent measures and make the new currency available and accessible to the public.
“This is necessary to ease the ongoing hardships and frustration that have become manifest in our people across the country.
“It is also noteworthy to appreciate the good work being done by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for busting unscrupulous elements who hoard money in secret warehouses.
“Under no circumstance must we allow the outcome of this election to be determined by the bullion van tendencies.
“The frustration that we all go through at the moment can be corrected if the CBN continues to do its part and operatives of the EFCC and ICPC, too, ensure that people do not keep stacks of money out of reach of the public.
“The other side of the bargain is for us, as Nigerians, to use the power of our PVC to channel our frustration to vote out the APC in the forthcoming general election.”
ALSO, PDP, yesterday, expressed optimism that the hopelessness and anguish brought upon the nation by the APC administration would be a thing of the past when Atiku assumes office.
The party, in a statement by National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, decried the pain and distress being faced by Nigerians over their inability to access new naira notes, occasioned by reported nefarious activities of corrupt APC leaders allegedly compromising the system to intercept and hoard the new notes for selfish vote-buying plans.
PDP charged CBN to be mindful of the sufferings being experienced daily by Nigerians and demanded that the bank take urgent measures to arrest the situation by ensuring adequate protection and effective monitoring of cash distribution process.
It said CBN should immediately provide dedicated mobile banks and special cash points in areas of need, particularly in markets and rural areas. It added that using such facilities to dispense low amounts in markets and rural areas would drastically reduce the pain and anguish being experienced by Nigerians.
MEANWHILE, Atiku reacted to the gruesome killing of 41 people in the Bakori area of Katsina State, describing the incident as one too many. In a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, yesterday, Atiku, noted: “The confirmation of the incident by the Nigeria Police on Saturday was a foreboding moment.”
The terrorist attack on Bakori, where 41 people were reportedly killed started making the rounds on Friday, but the police confirmation on Saturday is “yet another ugly episode in the senseless killings of Nigerians on account of terror attacks,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President condoled with families of the deceased and called for a holistic, multi-dimensional strategy that would put a stop to terrorism in the country.
He said: “While terrorism is a serious problem affecting most countries of the world, the solution to the problem must differ among countries. Therefore, a multi-sectoral initiative that will evaluate how to decimate the capacity of these terrorists should be on the table. We must be ready to do all that it takes to put a stop to these attacks.”
Atiku also prayed for the souls of the dead to rest in peace and for the return peace to Nigeria.