The implementation of the Naira redesign policy and the resultant scarcity of the new notes appear to be tearing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) apart.
On Friday, a protest broke out in Oyo State capital, Ibadan, as people attacked banks and other locations. Earlier in the week, a protest also broke out in Benin City, Edo State, Enugu as well as other States.
However, the biggest protest has been coming from within the ruling party, as Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the party took the first salvo during a rally in Ogun State.
During the rally in Abeokuta, Tinubu said the redesigning of the Naira is directly targeted at his presidential ambition. He also maintained the same position in Ekiti State during the party’s rally.
In the last 72 hours, Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has been on media rounds— he has spoken to Channels TV, TVC, Arise TV and BBC. On each appearance, the message has been the same: some elements in the Villa are conspiring against Mr Tinubu.
Some of the comments by the Kaduna State governor fueled speculations that the “Villa Cabals” are backing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who contested against Tinubu but lost.
However, in subsequent interviews, El-rufai clarified that the VP is not part of the people sabotaging the party.
“This is not the policy of our candidate (Bola Tinubu), this is the policy of fifth columnists. They want to bring us down, they want to bring this country down,” El-rufai had said during the interview on Channels TV.
Apart from El-rufai, other associates of Mr Tinubu also made some media rounds. Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola was on Instagram Live discussing the campaign, while Ajuri Ngalale held nothing back during an interview.
Ngalale accused the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele of presenting a poor policy direction to president Buhari.
“The outcome of the policy wasn’t what Emefiele initially presented to the President,” he said during an interview.
It would be recalled that the VP has also criticized the implementation of the policy.
Osinbajo, during a meeting with some players in the Fintech sector, said Nigerians are suffering the impact of the scarcity of the new notes.
While applying pressure, some governors of the APC equally met with the president behind closed doors on Friday: however, the president insisted on seeing through the February 10 deadline. Shortly after the meeting, Emefiele also announced that there will be no further extension.
The no-extension stance of President Buhari and Emefiele appears to be consistent with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who asked the CBN not to extend the deadline beyond the fixed date.
Many within the ruling party are concerned that the impact of the policy may affect their chances at the polls considering how the PDP and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) are making a push into the Northwest.
“Asiwaju is coming to terms with the impact of this policy on the election, therefore, he is pushing the Southwest base. The crowd in Osun was a statement, then Ekiti again. He is sending a message,” Ibrahim Gbadamosi, the coordinator of Asiwaju Grassroots Support told Daily Post.
“There is an uptick here, the fact the Asiwaju spoke up— he opened up the conversation around it. And look at it, the governors, particularly the Northern governors are solidly behind him. So there is no reason to be worried.
“We have six states in Southwest, we are optimistic of about five States in Northcentral, three States in Northeast and still strong in Northwest. In fact, we are pushing in States in Southsouth and Southeast.” He said.
Despite the optimism in the camp of the ruling party, many believe that the hardship associated with the swap of Naira may further weaken the chances of the ruling party.
Why Uzodimma Was Replaced As Edo Gov Primary Chair — APC
The ruling All Progressives Congress on Thursday clarified the reason Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State was replaced with his Cross River counterpart, Bassey Otu, as Chairman of the Edo governorship primary election.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, said the governor was “unavoidably unavailable” to complete the primary election, hence the need to replace him with his deputy.
The party announced the changes in a statement issued by APC National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu on Wednesday.
The changes were made a few hours after four leading Edo State governorship aspirants passed a vote of no confidence in the governor.
The governor had announced Dennis Idahosa as the winner while returning officer Stanley Ugboaja declared Monday Okpebholo as the winner.
Elsewhere, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local governments, declared Anamero Dekeri the winner of the election.
On Tuesday, the national leadership of the APC in Abuja declared Saturday’s primary inconclusive.
The ruling party, however, raised an eyebrow when a section of the media reported that the Imo State governor was sacked.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC appealed for understanding, saying the party did not sack Uzodimma as reported.
Morka said, “The attention of the All Progressives Congress has been drawn to reports in sections of the media suggesting that the Governor of Imo State, and Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, His Excellency, Hope Uzodinma, was sacked or dropped as the Chairman of the Edo Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee, and replaced with the Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Bassey Otu.
“We wish to clarify that Governor Uzodinma was neither “sacked” nor “dropped”, as has been erroneously reported, but was unavoidably unavailable to lead the completion of the Party’s Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election Process due to his prior scheduled attendance of, and presentation of a report, to the National Economic Council meeting today February 22, 2024.
“As a result, His Excellency Bassey Otu, Governor of Cross Rivers State, who was the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, graciously accepted to serve as Chairman, and to complete the Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election Process.”
Edo Guber: Ighodalo Wins Edo PDP Primary
Barrister Asue Ighodalo has been declared winner of the Peoples Democratic Party primary ahead of the Edo State governorship election slated for September 21, 2024.
He was declared winner of the primary conducted today by the National Working Committee of the party and monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium lawn tennis court.
Asue Ighodalo was announced by the Chief Returning Officer, Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara state.
He was declared to have polled 577 votes while Edo State deputy governor Philip Shaibu polled 1 vote. Anslem Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Amb. Martins.
Barr. Esene. Polled zero respectively.
Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Omosede Igbinadion announced there Withdrawal from the race before voting started. A total of 6 votes were void.
Meanwhile, the Edo Deputy governor Philip Shaibu had emerged winners earlier today in a separate primary held in his official resident.
More details to come…
UPDATED: Gunshots As Shaibu Emerges As Candidate In PDP Parallel Primary
The Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP,) on Thursday held a parallel Congress that produced the deputy governor of the state, Philip Shaibu is the candidate.
While some delegates were being accredited to proceed to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium venue of the primary election, another set of delegates met in a facility in Commercial Avenue where they announced Shaibu the elected candidate of the PDP.
They claimed that they went to the venue for accreditation but were chased away by security agencies. They also alleged that the list of delegates published by the national leadership of the party was not the authentic one alleging that they saw names of people from Bayelsa state and names of people who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Declaring Shaibu winner of the election, Bartholomew Moses said “During the counting of this primary election, Philip Shaibu has a score of 301 votes and therefore, we hereby declare Philip Shaibu as the authentic elected candidate for this election in the PDP”
The people had barely finished their exercise when gunmen invaded the venue. They were dressed in vigilante outfits and came in several vehicles including two black unmarked Toyota Hiace Truck, an unmarked white sienna, a white Hilux and several other vehicles. They were shooting sporadically into the air and the people scampered in different directions for safety
Before the election, the delegates led by Festus Owu had protested to the deputy governor’s official lodge where they complained to him that they had been disenfranchised.
Speaking to the protesting delegates, Shaibu said “I appeal to all of you to be peaceful I don’t want anybody to be injured, I don’t want anybody molested and I am happy the way you have conducted yourselves peacefully and have come to report to me that you were not allowed to be accredited but I want to tell you that no one man can determine the destiny of a people and by the grace of God they cannot disenfranchise you people.
“The law is clear that you people are the authentic delegates. Now that they have pushed you away, they want to go and replace you but I assure you that your vote must count, they cannot change and replace your names. I assure you that I will take your protest to the committee that is coming but you must remain peaceful in everything you are doing.”
Speaking to journalists later, Shaibu said “I saw the crowd outside and I asked who they are and they said they are delegates, I said they should be directed to the venue of the accreditation but they said they were protesting because they have been sent away from the venue if accreditation and they won their election and they have their results.
“The election will hold and if a winner emerges with fake delegates, the election will not see the light of the day but if a winner emerges with the authentic delegate, there will be no problem, I am sure.”
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