The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) on Saturday urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop playing politics with the new Naira policy and challenges Nigerians faced in accessing the new notes.
Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the National President of the AYCF, in a statement on Saturday in Lagos, frowned at Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential Candidate, over his comment on the new Naira policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The campaign office of Abubakar, hay on Wednesday in a statement, advised the CBN not to extend the Feb. 10 deadline for the exchange of old naira notes with new ones.
The former vice-president had said any further extension would destroy the purpose and objective of the policy.
The deadline for the validity of old naira notes was initially Jan. 31, but the deadline sparked controversy as Nigerians could not access new notes, and on Sunday, the CBN announced extension of deadline to Feb. 10.
Meanwhile, Shettima said that it was wrong for the PDP to reportedly oppose the opinion of many Nigerians, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, National Assembly and others, in favour of further extension of the deadline on old notes by the CBN.
He said: “Former VP Atiku’s call was out of place because it is coming on the heels of growing complaint about the kind of sabotage that is causing untold hardship to Nigerians over this policy.
“Atiku stands alone in his call on the CBN not to review the deadline.
“He is against prominent Nigerians who made passionate appeal for deadline review, notably the sultan of Sokoto, the Senate and House of Representatives leaders and experts.
“What purpose will the current difficulties people are facing serve Atiku? Why would he rather identify with the need to let the difficulties faced by especially rural folks continue and for how long?”
Shettima said that the group was in support of extension of deadline for the cash swap policy due to difficulties citizens were currently experiencing.
“We are of course aware that the economy has suffered heavy avoidable bruises,” he said.
According to him, it will be suicidal for this nation to consider any advice against a review of the CBN cash swap deadline.
He said that for any policy to succeed, it must have a human face, “and we believe the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, won’t turn against overwhelming public interest”.
The AYCF boss advised PDP not to turn the policy “into a weapon of political manipulation or political attention-seeking opportunity.
“We advise the ex-VP to concentrate on his presidential campaigns by showcasing what he has done to merit the votes of Nigerians and stop playing politics with our economic policies and associated challenges.
“We thought the ex-VP would tell Nigerians what he has to offer in fighting inflation and weak national currency,” he added.
However NAN recalls that Abubakar had earlier urged the apex bank to immediately review the measures in place for ensuring the seamless circulation of the redesigned naira notes across the country.
He said that this had become necessary to alleviate the hardship confronting ordinary people, especially rural dwellers, who need cash for their daily transactions.