Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has described his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar as “opportunistic”.
Tinubu spoke through the APC presidential campaign council (PCC) Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, on Monday.
In a statement, the APC flagbearer said the former VP’s position on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) induced naira scarcity has changed several times.
“We have observed the treacherous and shifting positions of Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar since the current currency crisis caused by the Central Bank started,” the statement said.
“In line with his well-documented inconsistencies and unreliability, Atiku has advanced several contradictory positions, in the fruitless hope of gaining political advantage from the crisis.
“We note that Alhaji Atiku and his hopeless party first hailed the CBN policy to high heavens when they initially thought it was a policy deliberately designed to stop Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from becoming the next elected president of Nigeria.
“Atiku called on President Muhammadu Buhari and CBN Governor to ensure strict implementation of the policy and the deadline of 31 January because in his and party’s short-sightedness and gross miscalculation, Tinubu was the prime target.
“Atiku’s position exploded on his face when the unintended consequences of the CBN policy manifested in its full ramifications and crippled the entire populace.
“Atiku capitulated and sought to claim some credit by asking the CBN to ‘slightly shift’ the deadline of 31 January 2023.
“The CBN and the FG to which Atiku and his party have suddenly become the cheer leaders listened to all the voices of reason and shifted the deadline for the currency swap till 10 February.
“On 1 February, Atiku took another public position, asking the CBN not to shift the deadline again:
‘There should be no further postponement of the new Naira regime after the expiration of the February 10 deadline. The vote riggers are seeking to push the CBN to extend till after the election when they would have achieved their evil plots. The CBN and the Presidency should be steadfast. The merits of the new Naira policy far outweigh the little inconvenience we are experiencing’, he wrote in a widely circulated statement
“As all Nigerians can now attest, the 10 February deadline also proved grossly inadequate. Governors of the APC challenged it in the Supreme Court and got an interim order asking the CBN to allow the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to remain legal tender with the new notes.
“Amid the widespread misery and the currency scarcity that the Naira swap policy created for Nigerians, Atiku’s position proved once again an egregious miscalculation and clearly anti-people
“But with just five days away from the presidential election, Atiku wants to cash in on the mood of the country with his latest faux empathy. He is now asking CBN to allow Nigerians to deposit their N500 and N1000 old notes in commercial banks, after thousands of desperate Nigerians jammed the CBN offices in Lagos and other places, hoping to deposit their old currency and get the new notes.
“It is generally a bad time for poor and hapless Nigerians as currency scarcity has become the norm. The chameleonic politician forgot that he once described the suffering our people are going through some ‘little inconvenience.’
“We recognise Atiku’s desperation to be President and like chameleon, this unprincipled and unstable politician will change positions on any issue as long as he thinks it will help his perennial ambition.
“Nigerians should run away from Atiku. A man like the PDP candidate with no strong conviction and strength of character cannot offer the kind of leadership our country needs.
“Nigeria needs a consistent and steady leader who will stand firm and upright when it is convenient and when it is not convenient. Asiwaju Tinubu is that kind of leader and he has demonstrated that by his principled stand on the current crisis. He has also offered a six-point solution to get the country out of the current morass.”