By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the presidential election on February 15, 2023, Mr Bola Tinubu, has claimed that some powers that be in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari were working to ensure he does not win the exercise, noting that they were behind the lingering fuel scarcity and the redesigning of the higher denominations of the Naira.
Last month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes into circulation. Later, the bank limited the amount of cash that can be withdrawn by customers across the channels.
This action was greeted with mixed reactions and the Department of State Services (DSS) later made attempts to arrest the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who wanted to pick the sole presidential ticket of the APC until he was stopped by the court.
For almost the better of 2022, Nigerians had to queue at petrol stations for the product because of a disruption in supply. Earlier in the year, the scarcity was caused by the circulation of adulterated fuel and later in the year, a shortage of supply was blamed on flooding across the country.
At the moment, Nigerians have not been able to buy petrol with ease and in some places, the pump price is above the government-regulated price of N169 per litre.
Speaking in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday during his campaign, Mr Tinubu accused those against his emergence as the presidential candidate of causing the fuel scarcity.
“We will use our PVCs to take over government from them, if they like let them create fuel crisis, even if they said there is no fuel, we will trek to vote. They are full of mischief, they could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create fuel crisis, but forget about it. Relax, I Asiwaju have told you that the issue of fuel supply will be permanently addressed.
“Whoever wants to eat the honey embedded in a mountain won’t worry about the axe. Is that not so? And if you want to eat palm kernel, you would bring stone and use it to break it, then the kernel will come out. It’s not easy to…
“Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote and we will win. Even if they changed the ink on Naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought. We are going to win. Those in the PDP will lose.
“I am homeboy, I have come here, you will not be put to shame, we will take over the government from them, the traitors who wanted to contest with us. They had no experience.
“The great Nigerian youths, the great Nigerian students, the confident Nigerian youths. This is a revolution. This election is a revolution. They are plotting, but they will fail. They said fuel price will increase and reach N200 per litre. Go and relax. They don’t want this election to hold, they want to scuttle it. Do you agree?
“On this one, I’m guaranteeing you one thing: there will be student loan. Nobody will drop out of the University because of school fees. I guarantee you that. Nobody will have to repeat for eight years, and not graduate.
“Haba! We are too smart, we are brilliant, we are courageous, we are sharp, we will make four years course four years course. Do you agree? Will you vote whether there is fuel or not? Call your sister, we are bringing revolution.
“Let me say what’s on my mind. The other day, I told you. This one too, they think they can cause crisis by sabotaging fuel supply. They are sabotaging fuel supply. Whether there is fuel or not, whether there is
Okada (commercial motorcycle) or not, whether there is tricycle or not, we will go and vote and we shall win.
“This is a superior revolution and when I tell you, you know what I mean. You know me, we are going there to win,” the former Governor of Lagos State said at the rally held at the MKO Abiola International Stadium.
Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.
It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.
The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.
However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.
On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.
They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.
Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.
Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.
The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.
However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.
The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.
APC Governors Beg Buhari to Allow Use of Old, New Naira Notes
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to allow the use of old and Naira notes as legal tender in the country until the former is naturally mopped up from the circulation.
This appeal was made on Friday by Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during a meeting with Mr Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a brief chat with reporters after the meeting, the Governor of Kano State, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said after the request was made to the President, he promised to look into it.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last month redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes and said the old currency denominations would cease to be legal tender from January 31, 2023.
However, two days before the deadline, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, after a meeting with President Buhari in his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, said the deadline had been shifted to February 10, 2023, noting that Nigerians had a grace period of February 17, 2023, to return the old notes to the bank.
On Tuesday, January 31, he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the CBN policy to say Nigerians could still take their old notes to banks after the deadline, promising that citizens will not lose their funds.
Today, the APC Governors met with Mr Buhari to discuss the scarcity of Naira in the financial system and also the lingering fuel scarcity.
One of the Governors present at the gathering, Mr Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, had claimed this week that the scarcity of cash and petrol was the handiwork of some elements in the Villa, who do not want the party to succeed in the forthcoming elections.
“We spoke with the President to allow the old and new notes to co-exist until the old notes die a natural death,” Mr Ganduje told newsmen while walking out after the meeting.
“Sir, did you discuss the petrol scarcity with him,” one of the reporters asked the Kano Governor, and he responded, “Yes.”
Oyo Governor Suspends Campaign Activities Over Fuel, Naira Crisis
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Due to the unending fuel and new Naira notes crisis rocking the country, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has suspended his campaign activities.
Mr Makinde is seeking another term in office under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He commenced his campaign activities last month, asking residents of the state to give him another chance to serve them.
But the scarcity of premium petrol spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, and cash has put Nigerians under untold hardship.
Governor Makinde, during the flag-off of the Omi-Adio-Ido Road on Friday, said in solidarity with the people over anti-people economy policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, he would be suspending his campaign.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun confirmed this.
In the statement, Mr Makinde, who was in Ido to continue his campaign, directed that all campaign activities be suspended until further notice.
Mr Olatubosun said Governor Makinde noted that the suffering of his people was too much, saying he was elected to protect their interests and well-being.
The Commissioner said his boss, in an emotionally laden voice, directed leaders of the party in Oyo State to suspend the campaign.
“As a mark of honour to citizens and residents of Oyo State, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed that all campaign activities of the party at all levels be suspended until further notice,” the statement read.
“Governor Seyi Makinde’s love for his people necessitated this unprecedented move at this time. We urge all residents and citizens of the State to remain calm as we navigate through this difficult period together,” he added.
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