A support group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of Tinubu Mobilisation Squad embarked on the collection of old naira notes and giving out of new notes to members of the public.
In a viral video seen by THISDAY, the promoters said the initiative was aimed at providing succour to suffering citizens, who had found it extremely difficult to access the new naira notes.
In the last few weeks, owing to scarcity of the new notes, politicians had blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for not printing enough new notes, which had led to protests in some parts of the country. The apex bank, on its part, blamed politicians for mopping up the new notes for election purposes.
It was surprising to see the support groups of the ruling party embarking on naira swap, when it was not one of the super agents approved by the apex bank to carry out the task. This, according to commentators, further confirmed the allegation that some politicians were mopping up the new notes.
The moderator in the video, which surfaced on the social media recently, can be heard saying, “As you can see, it is ongoing, instead of you going to stress yourself in the bank, we are here taking the old naira notes. And this is as a result of the unreserved…and work of the incoming president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The ongoing programme is proudly sponsored by Tinubu Mobilisation Squad. Don’t forget to get your PVC.”
However, where and when the video was shot were not known, but people in the video could be heard speaking Yoruba language, while fuji music played in the background.
One observer, who did not want his name mentioned, said, “Where did they get the new notes from? This is a confirmation that these people are behind the hoarding of new notes, now that election is here, they have brought out the new notes to share to people, pretending to care about their suffering. They want to use our suffering that they created to win our sympathy to get our votes.”
Another observer, who was not thrilled by the action of the Tinubu support group, called on the security agencies to arrest the members of the group for interrogation on where they got wads of new notes when even the banks don’t the new notes.
He said, “These are the people who mopped up the cash from the banks that created the current scarcity. The police, EFCC and other security agencies should arrest these people for interrogation. They hoarded the cash to buy votes. Now that the elections are around the corner, they have started releasing them. See what they are doing now? Tinubu wants to buy his way to the presidency of Nigeria.”
Tinubu had in a scathing attack on President Muhammadu Buhari during the presidential rally of the party in Abeokuta, said fuel scarcity and the naira redesign were aimed at truncating his electoral victory.
But he had expressed optimism that he would emerge victorious.
It would be recalled that the Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had accused the APC leaders, including its presidential candidate, of hoarding the new naira notes for the purpose of buying votes on election day.