Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy National Chairman Chief Olabode George has blamed presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu for their silence on the raging fuel and cash scarcities.
He also expressed surprise over the silence maintained by the Campaign Director-General, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
George said: “In all honesty, I cannot decipher the logic of quietness against the cliff edge that Nigeria has been plunged.
“Our party, the PDP, and others, such as the Labour Party, SDP, NNPP, seem to have concurred to the present shenanigan. I wonder, what hate, what evil, what madness will propel anyone of sane mind to plunge Nigeria into the present state of hopelessness, annihilation and abject suffering of the citizenry.”
The PDP elder, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, lamented that “due to this anomaly, which is a deviation from regulation or what is regarded as normal, there seems to be a graveyard silence on the part of PDP leadership.
George said: “It puzzles rationality. It benumbs our senses as Nigerians wake up every day to daily agonies of perennial fuel scarcity, tossed at us by the NNPC and the agony of non-availability of cash, occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Naira rebranding
“Where is the Presidential candidate of our party, the PDP, Atiku Abubakar? Where is Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman. How come the voice of the DG, Campaign Council of the PDP is drowned in perpetual silence, with the presidential election just a few days away?
“Why have they allowed their voices to be drowned in conspiratorial silence? Where are the opposition political parties? What does the graveyard silence portend for Nigerians? It seems to mean that Nigerians’ right to good has been consigned to the dustbin by the political class..”
To the former Ondo military Governor, the Federal Government is overwhelmed, stunned, halted, stalled, and puzzled about grappling with the current challenges.
He added:”I believe the various state actors can do better. Managers of our economy should not take Nigerians for granted by churning out retrogressive economic policies.
“We should rather strive to review our focus and our ultimate horizon . Nigeria must withdraw from the destructive brink.”
George lamented that the country has continued to toy with power supply, which is very germane to the development of any developing economy.
He said Nigeria loses an estimated $29 billion in accruable revenue every year due to epileptic power, adding that it is not sustainable.
George stressed:”Power is the very lifeblood of all industrial revolution. It is the fuel of all economic development. A nation without efficient power supply cannot rise into the bright dawn of the digital civilisation.
“It is stuck forever in the bleak dark side of economic underdevelopment and teeters inevitably on economic ruination.”
On the chaotic cash crunch imbroglio, George said:”The decision of the manager of our financial system, the CBN, to redesign the Naira, has only pushed the country further into dire straits.
“Our national economy has sunk deeper into the abyss, and the people are being made to become refugees in their own country with hunger ravaging every home. The policy on the currency should not have been contemplated in the way it was implemented.”
He added: “The citizenry are only worse for the policy, toiling in vain every day for the non-availability of the new notes. The tragic comedy of the financial crisis is the internal exchange rate racket going on in all the states.
“For you to get Naira cash across the counter and from POS operators, there is an ‘exchange rate’ (charges) depending on the financial smartness of the operators.
“Nigerians now pay between 10% and 25% for them to get their hard-earned Naira cash. Nigeria must be the only country in the world where you pay ‘officially’ a percentage in local currency for you to get your money in banks.”
George said Nigerians cannot be forced to move away from a cash-based economy to a complete cashless regime overnight, judging by the current archaic state of technology, the internet which is still in its epileptic state and the perennial fuel supply situation , which has also thrown the country into turmoil .
Frowning at the fuel scarcity, he said it is scandalous, adding:”As Africa’s largest crude oil producer, many months of fuel scarcity, especially during the Christmas and New Year festivities, reflects the dysfunction in Nigeria’s public administration and the economy.”
The government and its agencies are clueless, making conflicting statements and embarking on uncoordinated actions. This is the time for Nigerians to open their eyes and minds by voting for a competent and experienced person to take us to the promise land. We cannot afford to make mistakes this time around. Any move short of this is a recipe for complete chaos.”