As the fuel and currency scarcity slowly paralysed socio-economic activities across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has come under pressure to find a solution to the crises which have subjected Nigerians to untold hardship.
Nigerians, including senators, governors and youths on social media, are insisting that the President must immediately resolve the new naira note crisis, which sparked violent riots in Edo and Oyo states last week.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors had on Friday met the President with a view to persuading him to end the new naira notes crisis.
On Sunday, Kunle Somorin the Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said his boss and other APC governors were in serious talks with the Presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over the new naira notes scarcity.
According to him, Abiodun is fully in support of other governors on the issue of the new notes.
Somorin said, “He (Abiodun) said he has taken it up with his colleagues at the highest level. They are discussing with the CBN governor and the Presidency with a view to having a lasting solution and in the next few days if not hours, relief will come our people’s way. He was with other APC governors in Abuja. He is with them on the issue.”
Speaking further, he said, “That is why the governor has suspended his campaign because it does not make sense for him to be dancing while people are complaining about lack of fuel and inadequate access to exchange the old notes.”
Also, with few days left out of the seven-day period requested by Buhari to solve the new naira crisis, Nigerians on social media urged him to come up with a solution before the expiration of the period.
Buhari had on Friday appealed to Nigerians for a seven-day period to solve the crisis brought about by the naira swap policy.
A poll conducted by The PUNCH indicated that 68.3 per cent of Twitter users demanded an immediate solution to the crisis before seven days while 31.7 per cent backed the full seven-day period.
One Twitter user, @tulugolota, said even if Buhari was “given 10 years, he will still fail to do anything just as he has been failing since.”
On Instagram, @validator444, said “Seven days for what? After the pain and suffering, he has caused Nigerians?”
On his part, @officialmeri_madeinheaven said seven days “makes absolutely no sense with all that is happening in Nigeria at this time.”
Waiting seven days is a “sign of ineptitude and uncaring leadership,” said @adeyemi78ngus.@
In a tweet, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, described the current crisis as criminal and urged Nigerians to resist it.
“The criminal currency crisis was engineered by @mbuhari and @Emefiele to attack the existence of Nigerians. It must be resisted by all! #Revolutionnow #Wecantcontinuelikethis,” he wrote.
On his part, the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, ordered the opening of branches of the state-owned microfinance bank in the 17 local government areas of the state to enable the citizens to have access to financial services.
He posted on Facebook, “As a government, it is our responsibility to look into all possible solutions to help our citizens access financial services. To achieve this, I have directed that the state-owned Yobe Microfinance Bank opens branches in each of the state’s 17 local governments.”
When asked if Buhari should intervene in the fuel crisis, 81 per cent of respondents on Twitter voted Yes while 19 per cent voted No.
One Twitter user, @Bq_rhymez, asked, “Isn’t it the petroleum minister’s duty to ensure that Nigerians don’t suffer fuel scarcity? Now we have to take a survey for people to know what their duties are. what a shame.”
Oke Umurhowo who identifies himself as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party also tweeted, “Buhari, Focus on using the last few months of your administration to resolve the lingering fuel issue, naira scarcity, hardships and insecurity.“
Also on Twitter, a Nigerian, Utitofon Jeremiah said, “Muhammadu Buhari, pls stop these fuel queues and high cost, with the scarcity of money due to Emefiele’s mismanagement of the Naira redesign. Citizens are starving sir.
No money, no fuel. Just imagine the hardship.
Things going bad.”
On his part, Mamman Mohammed, the spokesman for the Yobe State governor, stated that continued usage of old naira notes beyond the February 10 was not an issue in the state.
He stated, “The persistence of the problems associated with new banknotes; whether the February 10 deadline is realistic or not; and whether the governor stands by the position of his colleagues, do not constitute our problems here.
“Our problem as a state ravaged by insurgency is wider and more serious than all these. We are in a peculiar situation and, therefore, have a peculiar problem.
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