The Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticised the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, for supporting the currency redesign policy being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Mr Obi, on his Twitter handle on Sunday, said currency redesign will have long-term economic and social benefits to the country.
“The currency redesign is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is an exercise that comes with some inconvenience and pain but it has significant long term economic and social benefits. Even though there are improvements that can be made,” he said.
But the spokesperson of the APC PCC in Osun State, Remi Omowaiye, in a statement on Monday, said the policy is an attempt to “inflict pains on Nigerians.”.
Mr Omowaiye accused Mr Obi of conniving with bank officials to inflict hardship on Nigerians.
“I am not surprised that Peter Obi is doing this, he has been a chairman of a bank before, most of the bankers are benefitting from this hardship, so I understand where he is coming from. Peter Obi has serious interest in Fidelity Bank. He went to keep Anambra money in the fidelity bank, which he ought to have been used to develop the state,” he said.
“Peter Obi has once again displayed to us and demonstrated to us that his business interest supersedes the interest of Nigerians because I don’t expect him to come out and start defending this policy .
I would have expected him to sympathize with Nigerians and condemn this policy, this is the same way he has failed to condemn IPOB over the killing of innocent people.”
The APC PCC spokesperson urged CBN to come up with effective strategies that will help help Nigerians rather than making them go through hardship before getting the new naira notes.
“It is very important that this is a very Ill time policy. We are not saying they should not change currency but there should be enough strategy on how to do this. You collected old money from people, you forced us to bring old money to the bank, now it is the old money that you are returning back to people.
It is obvious that Peter Obi wants to gain political profits from the agony of Nigerians,” he said.
“How did you explain it, people have money in the bank but they can’t access their money. There is unrest in some towns in Nigeria. Two people have been killed in Ibadan, there was also demonstration in Warri , people are going through hard times because of this policy,” he added
“This is not the first time in the world that currency will be changed, when it was changed in the UK , they allowed the old currencies to fade out without putting a bottleneck in doing this.”
He lamented lack of adequate infrastructure to transform the economy of the country to cashless policy.
“The banks are not cooperating, most of the banks do not have network telecom infrastructure to take the capacity of people you want to migrate into cashless policy banking overnight, no one is saying you should not do your cashless policy but there is no country in the world today that is purely cashless policy, cashless economy,” he said.
“This is a Nigeria that we have in some states, particularly in the North where there is no bank in an entire local government. I was listening to Adam Oshiomole yesterday saying that in his senatorial district, just two local governments out of six have a bank,” he added.
“We can see that it is only Asiwaju that is sympathizing with Nigerians. This is not about vote buying, since they introduced their policy, has that stopped people from trooping to our rallies, since they introduced their policy, has that stopped people from supporting Asiwaju massively.”