Northern Youths under the auspices of Arewa Youth Council (AYC) and other Civil Society Organisations have accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of being an enemy of the masses because of his statement on the naira redesign.
Addressing a press conference at Arewa House yesterday, the youth groups stated that Atiku lacks empathy and human feeling for kicking against extension of deadline for the old and new Naira swap, despite the untold hardship the policy has caused Nigerians.
They however called on all Northerners and Nigerians to reject Atiku’s candidacy over ‘his lack of empathy for the suffering of Nigerians’.
Director general, Media and Publicity of AYC, Bilal Tijjani Paki said, “Since the expiration of the deadline for the deposit of the old Naira notes, which has led to the general scarcity of the legal tender.
“Nigerians are being made to buy Naira with Naira. Some are selling it for as high as 30%. This has thrown Nigerians to unimaginable hardships coupled with the acute fuel shortage.
“While this is happening, many Nigerians of good conscience have risen to condemn the draconian policy. Some governors have approached the Supreme Court seeking an injunction restraining the CBN from rejecting the old naira notes, which was graciously granted but arrogantly violated by the CBN and the Federal Government.
“This, we strongly believe, is an invitation to anarchy. If the government begins to disobey lawful court orders, she is teaching her citizens to follow suit, if it continues, we won’t have a country to call ours someday.
“Annoyingly, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), His Excellency Atiku Abubakar urged the CBN not to extend the February 10 dateline, according to him, so as not to destroy the objective of the policy. He further stated that politicians want to take advantage of the extension to commit election fraud.
“It is obvious, whatever the motive behind the New Naira Note policy there, we strongly believe that it is s a conspiracy to scuttle the 2023 General Elections or to discourage Nigerians from traveling to their states or localities to vote and to incite Nigerians against a particular party and its Candidate to favor a particular Candidate alleged to be the Chief conspirator of the entire hardships currently experience by Nigerians.
“We are aware that in the days ahead, some people parading themselves as Northern Elders and religious leaders have concluded plans to endorse Atiku Abubakar as the region’s preferred Presidential Candidate.
“The North has numerous candidates who have shown enviable commitment to the advancement of Arewa’s interest, which is unmatched by Atiku’s antecedent. Even if we will end up working for a northerner, certainly, Atiku Abubakar won’t be in the equation for the following reason:
“He lacks empathy and human feeling, in the thinking of Wazirin Adamawa, Nigerians must continue to suffer from this policy before he will win the election, simply because he is from the North. We won’t settle for such character
“It was during the inglorious years of Atiku as the head of Nigeria’s economic team that our functional Textiles and other industries stopped working, thereby, rendering our parents and siblings jobless.
“Our region is still suffering from the brunt of insecurity, to the best of our knowledge, Alh Atiku Abubakar has done little or nothing to help displaced communities. He is always broke when the North is suffering, but suddenly become rich when it is election season.
“During his reign with former President Obasanjo, they conducted the most unacceptable election in our democratic history. We are sure if the 2023 election is to be conducted in the manner they conducted theirs, he won’t have the urge to contest this election as the government-anointed candidate will automatically emerge.
“We are aware that Waziri Adamawa’s confidence in the election and celebration of the harsh policy is premise on the fact that some persons in the presidency who are behind the suffering of Nigerians had assured him that their decision is meant to hand over the presidency to him. He and his co-travelers should note that the power to decide who governs our country rest exclusively on the shoulder of Nigerians.
“Our state is that; while we condemn the actions of Atiku Abubakar in strongest terms possible we wish to call on all Northerners and Nigerians to reject the candidacy of Alh Atiku Abubakar for his lack of empathy for the suffering of Nigerians.
“Despite the ongoing suffering and growing anger in the country caused by the artificial Naira and fuel scarcity backed by Atiku Abubakar, we wish to call on our members to resist every temptation to be lawless and wait patiently to express their anger on the ballot against him come 25th February, 2023
“We urge Arewa citizens to keep faith with us as we are consulting to arrive at the most acceptable and humane candidate for them,” Paki said.