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Naira crisis: APC leaders eye sympathy votes for Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, may end up becoming the biggest beneficiary of the naira notes change by the Central Bank of Nigeria, according to his campaigners.

Some chieftains of the APC have said Tinubu would be getting sympathy votes in the forthcoming presidential election, as the CBN policy was allegedly targeted at him.Speaking with our correspondent in separate interviews on Sunday, Tinubu’s loyalists said the APC candidate has won the heart of the masses by openly opposing the Federal Government’s actions and inaction that seem to have caused hardships for the people.

Newsupdate247 on Thursday reported that Tinubu, at the APC presidential campaign rally held at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on January 26, alleged that the lingering crises over Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) scarcity and naira redesign by the CBN were part of the plots to scuttle the polls and his expected victory.

A chieftain of the APC and close associate of Tinubu, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, noted that though other political parties and their candidates also needed cash to prosecute their campaigns and have been equally affected by the CBN policy, the ruling party’s candidate might get swing votes as a result.

Akanbi said, “It might end up favouring Asiwaju that they were targeting. A lot of people are realising that it is all because of him. It is becoming a rhythm. There will be sympathy votes because people believe it is targeted at him, and the mere fact that he said it out that he was against the policy. That will be like a bonus for him.”

According to the APC chieftain, Tinubu’s imminent victory was evidenced by the large crowds at the recent presidential campaign rallies despite that cash scarcity was frustrating the masses.Another APC leader in the South-West geopolitical zone, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Tinubu would be “sold” to the electorate as the “lover of the masses” among the presidential candidates, going by his disposition to the “anti-people policies” of the current regime.

Meanwhile, a faction of the Social Democratic Party is billed to announce the adoption of Tinubu as its presidential candidate this week.A factional leader of the SDP, Alfa Mohammed, made this known to our correspondent on Sunday.Mohammed, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the faction, said, “Yes, we have made up our mind: it is Asiwaju. In fact, barring any logistical constraint, we will adopt Asiwaju in the next few days. We will call a press conference to do that. The only problem we have is about logistics. Note that we are doing it voluntarily.

“We love Asiwaju. We believe that the man will move Nigeria forward. If he enters there (presidency), generally it will benefit all. So, that is the best person. As I am talking to you, we have been communicating with the 36 state chapters of the party.”When reminded of the fact that the other faction of the SDP dismissed his earlier claim that the party was in talks with the APC to adopt Tinubu, Mohammed insisted that he belonged to the mainstream faction of the party.

It is normal when you have a faction. The other faction, they are also (allegedly) discussing with (Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate) Atiku Abubakar, only that their candidate has not made up his mind. But we are the people that own the SDP; we were the ones that were elected under Chief Olu Falae. Those other people are the PDP people that came with Prof Jerry Gana. So, the grassroots belong to us,” he said.

A chieftain of the APC in Oyo State, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, who was said to be leading negotiations with the SDP faction and other parties, said other parties are adopting Tinubu and collapsing their structures for the APC candidate because they believe he would win the presidential election.Speaking with our correspondent, Akanbi noted that though the parties were not coming with a significant number of members, they are adopting Tinubu with the hope of having their interests protected when the APC candidate becomes president.

We will not say no to that but we are not relying on that. For them to be doing that, it means they have the feeling that Asiwaju stands a better chance of winning the election. So, they are not doing it for money; they are doing it for future benefits in terms of collaboration and appointments…in terms of governance and participation,” he said.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, rounded off his rally in his home state of Adamawa on Saturday, with five political parties – the Allied Peoples Movement, African Democratic Congress, National Rescue Movement, Action Alliance and the Action Peoples Party – dumping their respective candidates and adopting him.
Naira notes: Southwest APC urges residents to shun apathy

THE Southwest chapter of the All Progressives Congress has appealed to all residents in the region to reject growing sense of voter apathy as the general election is fast approaching.A statement by the zonal publicity secretary, Ayo Afolabi, on Sunday, said it is now clear as daylight that those behind the policy are exploiting the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to achieve their hidden agenda, which is to incite Nigerians against the party and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Afolabi said, “Among all the presidential candidates, only Tinubu is pleading on the side of the hapless masses, while the rest, especially the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, do not care what becomes of the hapless masses that bear the brunt of this policy.“We sympathise with millions of Nigerians whose means of livelihood have been threatened by this policy, especially farmers, transporters, livestock dealers, Point Of Sale operators, retail grocers and traders. We assure them of Tinubu’s commitment to ensuring they bounce back and better.

“We, therefore, call on residents to see beyond this shenanigan and refuse to give in to apathy. We call on them to troop out and vote for the APC on February 25 to herald in the era of ‘renewed hope,’ which Tinubu has promised and which he is capable of delivering.” A statement signed by Afolabi added.

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