Mr Osita Okechukwu, a cheiftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the Naira before it depreciates beyond redemption.
Okechukwu made the appeal in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, in reaction to the alleged dollar rain in the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Primary.
The Voice of Nigeria (VON), Director General (D-G), noted that a nation’s currency was one of the critical indices of measuring the general health of its economy.
According to him, when the currency nose-dives, it leads to hyper-inflation, gross unemployment and abject poverty, thereby worsening that country’s security.
He cited the comments by one of the PDP aspirant, Mohammed Hayatudeen, a financial guru, after withdrawing from the race.
Hayatudeen had advised Buhari to support the use of consensus method in the APC.
He said this would ensure that the forthcoming APC Presidential Primary, scheduled to hold between June 6 and 8, did not follow the PDP’s highest bidder dollar rain.
Okechukwu recalled that in his speech before withdrawing from the PDP primary, the former banker described the contest as “obscenely monetised”.
“Albeit, our sister opposition political party has every constitutional right to elect whoever they want as their flag bearer, it is the dollar rain that is worrisome.
“Sincerely, I congratulate Atiku Abubakar on his emergence from the opposition party primary.
“But as a patriot and stakeholder in the Nigerian project, I am worried by PDP’s induced dollar rain, which led to unprecedented depreciation of the naira,” Okechukwu said.
He also 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 use of dollar to buy delegates did to Nigeria’s economy.
“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,” he said.
Okechukwu noted that this was the farming season and that the agrarian revolution of the Buhari administration would be at risk if the naira was allowed to depreciate further.
He added that prices of fertiliser, seedlings and other farm implements would hit the roof top if the situation was not checked.
He stressed the need for the APC to adopt consensus in picking its 2023 presidential candidate, saying that the governors had lost the moral grounds to oppose Buhari if he endorsed that.
“Ones appeal is that a politically correct aspirant should be consensually presented,” Okechukwu said.
He dismissed insinuations that with Atiku, the APC would not adhere to the rotation convention of electing a presidential candidate of Igbo extraction or a southerner.
“The APC is brand A1; we follow the rule of law and rotation convention,” he said.
He added that Atiku’s victory at the PDP primary would have little or no impact on APC’s election of a presidential candidate from the East or the South.
He, however, wondered what new tangible thing Atiku was bringing to the table in the face of the prevailing daunting economic scenario. (NAN)