…..Says I Won’t Vote For Atiku Unless..
Cautions INEC Not Allow MC Oluomo Distribute Ballot Papers
Former deputy chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, has said it will amount to absolute lunacy for anyone to campaign for the ruling All Progressives Congress or contest on its platform in the February and March general elections because of the hardship the party has inflicted on the populace through policy somersault.
He urged the electorate to ‘shine their eyes’ and vote wisely in the next few days when the election begins.
Chief George who spoke at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday also warned that unless the issue involving allocation of party positions across the six geo-political zones with the south west treated fairly, he won’t vote for the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
He, however, cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to maintain its neutrality in Lagos and cancel forthwith the logistics contract its allegedly entered with MC Oluomo, who he described as part of the All Progressives Congress structure in Lagos.
He wondered why the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Iyorchia Ayu and other members of the opposition have not spoken against the cash crunch and other ill timed policies of the APC that are affecting the people few days to election.
With the theme; Nigeria 2023: Time For Sober Reflection, Chief George said;
“Without mincing words or trying to raise an alarm, the global golden rule called ‘order’ – a legal and constitutional process of conformity with law or decorum – seems to have taken a flight from Nigeria’s political, economic and social lives.
“Due to this anomaly, which is a deviation from regulation or what is regarded as normal, there seems to be a graveyard silence while Nigeria is bedeviled on all fronts.
“Something strange or unusual happens in the polity every day, leading to socio-economic turmoil permeating our entire landscape.
“It is grieving to see Nigeria slowly sliding into a state of perpetual hopelessness.
In all honesty, I cannot decipher the logic of quietness against the cliff edge which the APC government has plunged the Nigerian state into, where there seems to be no opposing views, calling the ruling government to stop and rethink.
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.
“At the same time, I see it as absolute lunacy for anybody to campaign for APC or to contest on the platform of APC, due to the state of formlessness the ruling party has thrown Nigeria into.
“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 against the atrocities of the APC government 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.
“Governments are elected to guarantee the pursuit of happiness , to ensure the protection of personal liberties, to create an atmosphere where all citizens can carry out their economic livelihoods without being subjected to oppression or being savaged by the lawlessness of incendiary actors.
“The center appears overwhelmed, stunned, halted, stalled, puzzled about grappling with the Nigerian challenges.
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.
“Sadly enough, it is on record that Nigeria has continued to toy with the issue of power supply which is very germane to the development of any economy, particularly, a developing economy like ours.
“Presently, our country loses an estimated $29 billion in accruable revenue every year due to epileptic power. This is not sustainable. 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.
“Indeed, something must give to spur a Nigerian rebirth and renewal, lest we become the permanent invalid African giant.
“To change course, to redefine our path, we must cultivate the essential ingredients of meritocracy as the critical building blocks of a modern society . Wherever young, vibrant, intelligent minds are given a pride of place to steer the destinies of their nations, such societies invariably widen the opportunities for competitive growth, encourage a healthy contest of ideas and strengthen their developmental advantages.
“Sparing a thought for the chaotic cash crunch imbroglio which has brought the nation to its knees with nobody spared of the suffering being experienced, I make bold to say that 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.
“It is only pathetic for the CBN to come up with such policy, despite its good intentions because the present ugly state of our everyday life of epileptic power supply, high rate youth unemployment and sundry social challenges renders all the positive intentions of the policy worthless. 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.
It is important to escalate this point that Nigerians cannot be forced to move away from a cash-based economy to a complete cashless regime overnight like the CBN wants to implement, with our present archaic state of technology like the internet which is still in its nascent and epileptic state and the perennial fuel supply situation which has also thrown the country into turmoil .
“The current hitch in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) across the country is scandalous.
“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.
“This is not new, as petrol shortages have been recurring for over three decades. Scarcity of fuel had resurfaced several months ago, before the new year celebrations and has defied all logic and solutions. The government and its agencies are clueless, making conflicting statements and embarking on uncoordinated actions.
“Laughably, the directive by the State Security Service to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders to resolve the current fuel crisis has not yielded any positive result, other than a worsening scenario of the crisis, pushing the country more to the brink of collapse.
“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.
“A word is enough for the wise.
Happy New Year to all Nigerians and Happy Sailing in 2023.”