Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) Osita Okechukwu, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly come to the rescue of Nigeria’s currency, the naira before politicians depreciate it out of recognition.
He said that a nation’s currency is one of the critical indices of measuring the general health of its economy, stressing that when the currency nose-dives it leads to hype-inflation, gross unemployment and abject poverty, thereby worsening the nation’s security.
In a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, Okechukwu, who is also, a founding member of All Progressives Congress (APC) decried the dollar rain during the recent Presidential primary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the National Stadium Abuja.
He cited the withdrawal comments of Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, a financial guru, saying that President Buhari should support the use of the consensus method to ensure that the forthcoming APC presidential primary does not follow the PDP’s highest bidder dollar rain.
In his speech before withdrawing from the PDP primary, the former banker, Hayatu-Deen, said, “it is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided, after wide consultation, to withdraw from this contest, which has been obscenely monetised.”
“Albeit, our sister opposition political party has every constitutional right to elect whoever they want as their flag bearer; the Dollar rain is worrisome as noted by Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, who dubbed it obscenely monetised presidential primary.
“Sincerely, I congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar on his emergence from the opposition party primary. But, as a patriot and stakeholder in the Nigeria project, I am worried by PDP’s induced Dollar Rain, which led to unprecedented depreciation of the naira,” he said.
Therefore, Okechukwu called on Buhari to consider the consensus option to be adopted in the APC presidential primary election to save the naira.
He lamented the monumental harm PDP’s dollar rain did to the nation’s economy, saying “if that could happen in a party with about 731 delegates, imagine what will happen if APC with about 2, 322 delegates is allowed to indulge in Dollar Rain.”
His words: “If the Naira is already bleeding because of dollar rain on 731 delegates; please better imagine the degree of depreciation of the Naira if another blitz of dollar rain is allowed to be splashed on 2,322 delegates? This is the farming season, as such the Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution would also be at risk if the naira is allowed to depreciate further. Prices of fertilizer, seedlings and other farm implements will hit roof top.”
On why he is calling for consensus instead of direct and indirect mode of primary election, which are more democratic than consensus, the DG VON said: “All the three are democratic and are in our law books.
Please, is it not paradoxical that the governors and ex-governors who oppose consensus had adopted the same consensus and even outright imposition to select their successors?
To me they have lost the moral high ground to oppose Mr President from adopting such legal mode of primary election.
One’s appeal is that politically correct aspirant should be consensually presented.”
Okechukwu dismissed insinuations that with Atiku the APC will not adhere to the rotation convention of electing a presidential candidate of Igbo extraction or a southerner.
APC is Brand A1, and we follow the rule of law and rotation convention.
“Methinks His Excellency Atiku Abubakar’s opportunistic victory will have little or no impact on APC’s election of a presidential candidate from among Ndigbo aspirants or by extension the southern belt aspirants.
I don’t think Mr President I know even going by consensus will deny the south their turn.”
Reminded of the possibility that with APC Southern presidential candidate Atiku will sweep the northern votes, OKechukwu wondered what new tangible thing Atiku was bringing to the table in the face of the prevailing daunting economic scenario.
He said Atiku is used to sharing money, but that today there is little or none to be shared, adding, “Most importantly, one, northern voters are sophisticated, having voted for Chiefs MKO Abiola and Olusegun Obasanjo, with all indicators they will vote southerner this time around so as to shame the PDP for breaching the rotation convention in their constitution.
“Secondly, there are number of northern voters who are patriots who believe sincerely on the ancient doctrine of equity, natural justice and the imperative of unity of our dear country.
Forgoing south is the best solution to smoothen the polarization in the land.
Thirdly, the dormant Igbo voters in Kano, Lagos and other towns plus core non-Igbo APC voters will be woken up to trounce Waziri Adamawa at the poll.”