The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, on Saturday weighed in on the scarcity of the naira which has increased the suffering of the masses, saying currency redesign was not peculiar to Nigeria.
Obi said although the process of the Naira redesign came with some inconveniences, it has long-term rewards.
This is as he declared that he and his running mate, Mr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, have the capacity to change Nigeria, pointing out that the country is the most insecure in the world.
The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has also told the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu to withdraw for Obi, stressing that the northerners will not vote for him.
Obi in a statement obtained by THISDAY, noted that even though there are improvements that can be made, he urged Nigerians to bear with the CBN and the federal government with the hope that Nigerians would harvest the gains that would come with the reforms.
The LP flag bearer called on the CBN and commercial banks to ensure that the redesigned notes spread as quickly as possible so as to ease the pain of the masses.
He said: “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, I urge Nigerians to bear with the CBN and federal government with the hope that the general populace and Nigeria will harvest the gains that will come with the reforms.
“We equally implore the CBN and the banks to expedite efforts to make the new currency available to small depositors and the unbanked in order to reduce the pains of my fellow Nigerians, especially the underprivileged and those living far away from banks in the rural areas.”
In another development, Obi has declared that he and his running mate, Mr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, have the capacity to change Nigeria, pointing out that the country is the most insecure in the world.
Addressing a mammoth crowd of LP members and supporters at the party’s campaign rally in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, yesterday, Obi stated that Nigeria needed a change.
The LP presidential candidate who had earlier paid a visit to the palace of the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, before addressing hundreds of youths at a town hall meeting held within the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), described Nigeria as a failed and one of the most insecure countries of the world.
He said he wants to change Nigeria, adding that he and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, are the only set of people that can do that.
Obi noted that they both could change Nigeria and appealed to Nigerians to entrust them with the country to make it great.
The former Anambra State governor again challenged Nigerians to hold them responsible for dealing with the country’s problems.
He said: “For me, I have served the people of Anambra State and was rated as number one in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the records are there. Even in education and taking people out of poverty without borrowing a Kobo from anybody, I paid all the pensions owed before I assumed office.
“So, let presidential candidates come out and show Nigerians what they have done in the past before aspiring to govern the country.
“We are determined for a new Nigeria; we want people who are confident and qualified for the job. This year’s elections are essential; we can no longer be comfortable with incompetence. We want people who are committed; this job requires physical and mental energy. So, we want people who are ready for the job. Datti and I want to change Nigeria.
“Datti and I want to change Nigeria; we are the only set of people that can do that. We can do that, and that is why we are saying that you should entrust us with the country and we will make it great. Hold us responsible for dealing with this matter.
“Nigeria is a great country, but we have all allowed it to be in the hands of few who do not know how to manage it. Your Majesty, that is why we are here; to plead for your blessings. We know that no royal father goes into politics, but when your subjects are dying and if you don’t intervene, one day, they will come for you because there is no alternative, please, save them.”
Northerners Won’t Vote for You, Adebanjo Tells Tinubu
Meanwhile, Adebanjo has advised Tinubu to withdraw his candidacy for Obi, and save himself from the shame of losing at the polls.
The Afenifere leader stated this at the presidential campaign rally of the LP in Abeokuta.
Adebanjo, accompanied by another leader of Afenifere, Senator Femi Okunronmu, said Tinubu would be disappointed by the northerners at the polls.
The Afenifere leader described the LP as the new National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which according to him, would save Nigerians from the misrule of the APC.
He said: “All those who know Tinubu should tell him; I have always told him and will tell him again – the northerners will not vote for him.
“He (Tinubu) should come back home now and support Obi because when they finally defeat him, he won’t have the courage to come back again; if he comes back now, we will forgive him and take him back.
“I have told you before, and I want to repeat it, the Labour Party is now NADECO; those of us supporting Obi are the ones that want good governance; we want Nigeria to be better; we want to liberate ourselves from the captive of the ruling class.
“We are behind Obi; leaders of the progressive movement are behind Obi. Those fraudsters who parade themselves as Yoruba do not love the country. Yoruba do not take things that belong to other tribes. A Yoruba man has been President before,” Adebanjo added.
James Sowole in Abeokuta