The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar says one of the three naira notes about to be redesigned should have the image of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Atiku, in a string of tweets on Saturday, also saluted the 85-year-old elder statesman and African Union’s mediator for leading peace talks between the Ethiopian Government and Tigrayan rebels after two years of devastating conflict that have claimed thousands of lives and left millions needing aid in Africa’s second-most populous country.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had in a statement this week agreed to “permanently silence the guns” and end the two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia.
The conflict erupted on November 4, 2020, when Nobel peace laureate Abiy sent troops into Tigray after accusing the TPLF, the regional ruling party, of attacking federal army camps.
Atiku, on Saturday, celebrated the “extraordinary prowess” of Obasanjo in bringing peace to Ethiopia.
“I am not surprised. I know my boss. He did the same thing in Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe during our time in office,” the PDP candidate said. Atiku was Nigeria’s Vice-President between May 1999 and May 2007 when Obasanjo was a democratically elected President. Obasanjo and Atiku’s second term in office was not smooth but the two would later resolve their differences.
“If for nothing else, he is most deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize, and I will nominate him when entries are open for nominations.
“Africa is blessed to have a statesman of such impeccable democratic credentials as Chief Obasanjo. A man whose image ought to be in the redesigned Naira note to inspire future generations of Nigerians to sacrifice for their nation and continent,” he added.
On October 26, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank will issue redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023.
Atiku and other frontline presidential candidates like Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) have visited Obasanjo at his Abeokuta residence in the last couple of months. However, the former military head of state has not endorsed any candidate.