The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his reassurance on credible, free and fair elections, and for the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The PDP Presidential Campaign Council’s Spokesman, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, stated this at a press conference on Thursday in Asaba, while reacting to Mr President’s address on the naira redesign policy and state of the nations ahead of the 2023 elections.
Aniagwu said that the President’s approval for the old N200 notes to be reissued for a period of 60 days along side the newly redesigned notes, was a move in the right direction to cushion the sufferings of the masses, due to scarcity of cash in banks.
He said it was obvious that those who had stockpiled money would have done so with the N500 and N1,000 denominations.
The PCC spokesman called on Nigerians to be patient with the government, adding that the cashless policy had the capacity to address issues of kidnapping, insecurity, inflation and exchange rate volatility in the county.
He said that some politicians in the opposition were attacking the President and the CBN cash policy, just to trigger crisis and disrupt the elections.
“We must agree with Mr. President that we appreciate the pains that Nigerian are going through on account of the scarcity of the naira following the redesigning of our currency, particularly the N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations.
“We believe that it is important that CBN takes steps to ameliorate the sufferings of the people and what Mr. President did today is a pointer to the fact that government is desirous of solving the challenges of Nigerian who approach the banks for their money.
”So, the decision of the President to authorise the release of the old N200 notes into the economy for a period of 60 days, is a welcome development.
“We also agree that the cashless policy is important to curb corruption, address issues of vote buying, deal with issues of insecurity and kidnapping which the policy to a great extent have addressed.
“We want to plead with our people to exercise patience with the government.
“We have it on good authority that certain politicians from the opposition party are trying to take advantage of the present situation and sufferings of the people, to trigger crisis, so as to derail the elections.
“You have seen what happened in Warri and Udu areas of Delta, some of the protesters are burning shops and destroying billboards which has nothing to do with the redesigned naira notes,” Aniagwu said.
He said that those who burnt banks were also inflicting pains on Nigerians who work at the banks, adding that the bank workers may lose their jobs if the banks remained closed.
“So, we are pleading with the people of Delta and other Nigerians not to fall prey to the antics of those who are already jittery because they know they would lose the election and want to cause mayhem to undermine the election,” he said.
He, however, expressed concern that those who stuffed the old N500 and N1,000 notes in homes may undermine the assurances of Mr President, to trigger violence, not because they are fighting for the masses.
“Since the cashless policy came in, we have it from intelligence agencies that the spate of kidnapping for ransoms has stopped and it does appear that the naira is also stabilising at the foreign exchange market.
“So, what needs to be done is to fine tune the policy and not to kill it. And we must commend Mr President for restating his commitment to a free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
“He has continuously made it clear that he is determined to leave a legacy of making votes of Nigerians count.”
Aniagwu appealed to Nigerians to make themselves available to vote during the elections, adding that PDP was not depending on stashed monies to win the elections.
On his part, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, also appealed to the judiciary to live up to their billings, and help protect the country from derailing in the hands of ambitious politicians.
He noted that those who were challenging the cashless policy of the CBN were from the same political party (APC). (NAN)