By Leon Usigbe, Abuja
The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization on Friday blamed the current cash crunch in the country on the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, describing him as the real enemy of Nigerians.
This is contained in a statement issued by spokesperson of the campaign, Kola Ologbondiyan, in response to the claim by the APC flag bearer allegation that his PDP counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, is an enemy of the people over his advice to the federal government not to extend the deadline for currency swap.
Recall that the former vice president had instead called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review its current circulation strategy to make cash more available to Nigerians.
In the Friday statement, the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization insisted that “Tinubu is the mastermind of the new naira notes crunch who had made the people to suffer untold hardship ever known in our national history.”
The Campaign alerted Nigerians of “a high-level criminal racket through which Tinubu is reported to have been sabotaging the system, intercepting and diverting millions of new naira notes meant for distribution to Nigerians for his selfish ‘Emilokan’ purposes.”
The statement added: “It is indeed despicable that Tinubu, knowing that he has been exposed of being criminally responsible for the biting cash crunch on Nigerians, is seeking to divert public attention from his heinous crime by criticizing Atiku Abubakar’s widely applauded patriotic call for the extension of currency swap deadline
“Our campaign challenges the APC Presidential Candidate to come clean on allegations that he has been using his various criminal Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Companies as well as fraudulent officials in some APC-led States to intercept and mop up cash to the detriment of millions of Nigerians.
“In the desperation to cover his tracks, Tinubu, in his elements, as the Nigerian ‘Artful Dodger,’ has mounted a campaign of calumny against the Federal Government on the scarcity of the naira while secretly intercepting and diverting the notes for his selfish use.
“It is despicable that the Tinubu Campaign will be engaged in the activities that are responsible for the scarcity of the naira, for which Nigerians are suffering untold distress, yet he mounts the soap box to create the impression that he is the champion of the people.
“It is also worrisome that the person claiming to be concerned about the plight of Nigerians is actually the one responsible for their woes and at the same time urging them towards insurrection.
“In any case, we are not surprised that the APC presidential Candidate can engage in such alleged shady activities against Nigerians given his reputation as a “bullion van” politician as well as long record of alleged frauds, including reported looting of Lagos assets as well as trafficking in narcotic for which he was convicted and made to forfeit the sum of $460,000 to the United States.
“Our campaign urges Tinubu to own up to the frustration that Nigerians are presently confronting and stop shedding his usual crocodile tears.
“Moreover, it is clear that the Tinubu Campaign has taken to this despicable route in its desperation to incite Nigerians, trigger crisis and position Tinubu as the liberator.
“Nigerians are not unaware that Tinubu has bluntly refused to advise this administration on the negatives of its policies just because he (Tinubu) wanted it to fail to enable him to appear as a messiah.
“It is absurd that Tinubu prioritized his ambition above the wellbeing of over 200 million Nigerians on behalf of whom Atiku Abubakar appealed to the Federal Government to ameliorate the situation and ensure that the new naira notes are made available to the people.
“Nigerians have only but pity for the APC Presidential Candidate as all his machinations to malign Atiku Abubakar had always failed in the face of the truth.
“Our campaign counsels Tinubu to immediately make confessions, offer restitution and ask for forgiveness from Nigerians.
“It is instructive for Tinubu to also accept the reality of his defeat on February 25 as Nigerians have reached a consensus to elect the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, who is set to provide the solutions to our national challenges.”