The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged plans by the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu to swap N22.5 billion stashed old naira notes to new ones in Kano State.
But the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the APC has challenged the PDP to provide evidence that the ruling party planned to swap such amount of old notes to the new ones.
At the same time, thee PDP Campaign Council in Kwara State, has said the ongoing moves by the APC and Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to blackmail traditional institutions in the state would not save him and his party from total defeat in the coming elections.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement yesterday said the intended swapping of N22.5 billion stashed old naira notes to new ones in Kano State, was part of a desperate move to actualise APC vote buying plans in the elections.
He said information available to the party revealed that this act by the APC, which was responsible for the biting cash scarcity was allegedly being coordinated in the North West region of the country by two APC State governors, who ironically have been vocal in the lamentation over the prevailing cash crunch.
The main opposition party further alleged that there was intelligence that the arrangement had been concluded by APC leaders to move a substantial part of the old naira notes from Kano to Lagos State between today and tomorrow for the purposes of swapping them with new ones.
“The PDP has been made aware that the N22.5 billion in old N1000 notes was allegedly kept in a Kano State Government facility before being moved to a particular old generation and a certain new generation bank, where the regional heads were contacted by the APC Presidential Campaign to swap the old notes with new ones.
“Further information revealed that the cash is being warehoused by the Tinubu Campaign for vote buying in Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Jigawa and Sokoto States. A particular APC State governor is reported to have taken delivery of N500 million new Naira notes to actualise the vote buying plot,” Ologunagba said.
The PDP, therefore, alerted the security agencies and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of this nefarious activity by APC leaders, which it said was bringing untold hardship to Nigerians.
Ologunagba added: “Our party demands an immediate action to stop APC in this criminal act as well as to recover the money and make the new Naira notes available to the public.”
The PDP had earlier alerted Nigerians that some corrupt APC leaders were compromising the system to mop up the new bank notes for their selfish vote-buying plans ahead of the February 25, presidential election.
But replying the PDP, the Director Media and Publicity, APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga, said it was not enough to dish out cock and bull stories in the name of press releases and therefore challenged the party to provide evidence, stressing also that making senseless allegations every passing day has become the hallmark of the PDP campaign.
Onanuga noted: “Let them provide the evidence if they uncovered such. It is not enough to dish out cock and bull stories in the name of press releases. Making senseless allegations every passing day, which has become the hallmark of PDP campaign is not how to win election.
“Nigerians cannot be deceived by a party of looters. Nigerians can’t forget a party of people that looted over $2 billion dollars meant for arms procurement, when Boko Haram was killing our citizens and almost took over three states in the north east.
“We challenge PDP to bring out any evidence of their latest allegation otherwise the party of looters should hide its ugly face in perpetual shame.”
Meanwhile, from Ilorin in Kwara State, there were reports, which circulated weekend, that a former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki was trying to disrespect the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
But the press officer to Saraki on local matters, Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir, has immediately denied the reports, which he described as false, unfounded and irresponsible.
This was as some socio-political groups under the aegis of Coalition of Ilorin Emirate Youths Development Association (CIEYDA) and The Peoples Vanguard (TPV), have warned against any comment that could bring down the traditional institution especially, the Emir of Ilorin.
A joint statement issued in Ilorin yesterday and signed by the National Chairman of the (CIEYDA), Dr AbdulMumin Ajia and spokesperson of the (TPV), Mr. Ibrahim Musa said, the development has shown alleged hatred they harbored for the traditional stool particularly, the Emir of Ilorin and Abdulrazaq’s family over the years.
However, a statement by the PDP Campaign Council signed by Director of Media, Mr. Lawal Akanbi Sharafadeen, expressed concern over the plot by the APC and the present administration to cause disaffection among the various ethnic groups in the state.
“We do not lock horns with anyone unless where there are issues raised and there are none so far from all the releases of various unknown groups linked to the government. Similar to what it did towards the 2019 general election, the APC has started its usual provocative propaganda of dragging our revered traditional institution into disrepute by trying to instigate crises among the royal fathers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the recent successful campaign tour of PDP to Kwara North is strictly to solicit the support of the zone for the PDP candidates in all elections and had nothing to do with the leadership of our traditional institutions as that has already been settled long ago.
“It is quite understandable that the Kwara North success of the PDP campaign is unsettling for the unpopular Governor and knowing full well that a resounding success awaits the PDP campaign at the central, hence the governor has resulted into playing dirty through countless unknown associations but the PDP will not come down so low but rather concentrate on issues”.
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja