The African Action Congress (AAC), and our presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, hereby condemn in the strongest terms, the currency and fuel shortages deliberately inflicted on poor Nigerians and wreaking socio-economic havoc across the country. We place the blame squarely on the incompetence and irresponsibility of the Buhari-led APC government. True to its character, this government has precipitated a crisis clearly targeted at deepening the suffering of the Nigerian people whose welfare and security should ordinarily be its priority.
Against every sane advice, and without the slightest shred of public input, this government launched a wasteful scheme to redesign (read recolour) the national currency purportedly in a bid to trap looted funds stashed outside the financial system, check counterfeits, and restrain politicians from amassing cash to compromise the electoral process. Having been hastily conceived without public input and shambolically implemented , the policy has proven an unmitigated disaster with ordinary Nigerians now caught in the middle.
The banks have obviously colluded with rogue politicians and bureaucrats to horde the limited quantity of the new currency injected into the system by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) whose compromised leadership can do very little to compel compliance.
Banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) all over the country are empty. Our people can not access their meagre savings to buy food and meet other necessities as starvation stares them in the face. A wave of mass anger is sweeping through the country, and chaos looms if the situation is not immediately remedied.
We believe that, with due diligence and foresight, the government should have deployed a range of liquidity management policy measures, to achieve the objective of reducing monies in circulation for vote-buying in the elections, instead of adopting a poorly thought-out option that merely succeeded in exposing the Nigerian people to needless suffering. The government should also have focused on strengthening INEC and the security agencies to enforce our electoral laws by apprehending and punishing vote buyers and other electoral offenders. This has not been the case. The Buhari government has rather put Nigerians through hell than directly confront the rogue politicians in his party and their clone parties.
Sadly, the desperation occasioned by the chaotic execution of this policy will further make our people vulnerable to the monetary inducement of the same politicians purportedly targeted by the policy. In essence, the Buhari government may, in fact, be setting up a fertile ground for rigging and vote buying by making access to money scarce in the run up to the elections.
Meanwhile, even before the start of the currency crisis, Nigerians were already grappling with severe fuel shortages and astronomical increases in fuel pump price by more than 100% in some areas. This condemnable situation has worsened inflation and driven millions more into poverty.
As we write, none of the country’s refineries is functional. Trillions of naira continue to be looted under the guise of fuel subsidies, while our people are forced to queue for hours in search of products they never get, or at prices they cannot afford when they manage to get the fuel.
The AAC and our candidate, Omoyele Sowore, are deeply troubled by this wave of attacks against the Nigerian people. We demand an immediate resolution of the currency and fuel crises so that our people who are already on the brink will not be pushed over.
We urge the Nigerian people to bring an end to this characteristic incompetence of the APC government and its sister parties by voting for the AAC in the coming elections. Our party, with our _People’s Manifesto_ is implacably dedicated to the total liberation of the poor masses from the clutches of the APC and its sister parties of the rich few who have held Nigeria and Nigerians down through the years.
AAC Presidential Campaign Spokesperson