The African Action Congress has called on the Federal Government to urgently address the hardships being faced by Nigerians arising from the scarcity of new naira notes and Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).
A statement signed by the spokesperson for the AAC presidential campaign group, Onyinye-Gandhi Chukwunyere, on Saturday, said the party and “our presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, hereby condemn in the strongest terms, the currency and fuel shortage crises being faced by poor Nigerians and wreaking socio-economic havoc across the country.”
“We place the blame squarely on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) of the All Progressives Congress-led government.”
The PUNCH reports that Nigerians have been battling with the scarcity of the new naira notes, as many stay in long queues at the banks and pay exorbitant charges at the Point of Sale terminals to withdraw cash.
In the same vein, the persistent scarcity of the PMS coupled with its rising pump price have fueled protests in some parts of the country, such as Benin, the Edo State Capital.
Claiming banks and Automated Teller Machines all over the country are empty, the campaign team said, “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.”
Advising the government, Chukwunyere said, “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 an option that merely succeeded in exposing the Nigerian people to needless suffering. ”
He said the government should also have focused on strengthening the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agencies to enforce our electoral laws by apprehending and punishing vote buyers and other electoral offenders.
He added that before the start of the currency crisis, Nigerians were already grappling with severe fuel shortages and astronomical increase 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.”
“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.”
The PUNCH reports that protesters since yesterday (Thursday) have hit the streets of Ibadan demonstrating against scarcity of cash and petrol, with some level of violence being reported.
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