PDP Demands Probe Of Buhari’s Election Funding | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Demands Probe Of Buhari’s Election Funding

Posted: Dec 14, 2015 at 6:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*FG: Return billions looted from the treasury

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded an inquest into the funding of the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of embarking on selective anti-corruption war. But the Federal Government, yesterday, charged officials of the immediate past PDP government involved in the looting of the treasury to urgently return all stolen funds to government coffers. Several top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan government and PDP stalwarts have been named in the $2 billion arms deal.

They include the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda. The party urged Buhari to be courageous enough to open a probe into the source of funding of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s 2015 presidential campaigns. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said in a statement that the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption war should not be limited to only those opposed to the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to the statement, until top officials of the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it is premature to be accusing only PDP members of corrupt practices. “Nigerians are quite eager to learn the business and investment tricks of past and present public officers in the APC fold, especially former governors, former ministers, as well as their national leader, who suddenly acquired multibillions investments and are now reputed to be the richest politicians in the country,” PDP added. According to the statement, Nigerians demand to know the contributions from APC-controlled state governors to Buhari’s campaign, and “the allegation that people were made ministers just to cover up the slush fund that they provided to finance the APC presidential campaign.”

The party also stated that if the current anticorruption war of the Federal Government includes investigation of the expenditure of former President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s security votes from 2011 to 2015, such should be extended to the security votes of all past presidents and heads of State from 1984, including “the expenditure of our military purchases and expenditure during the Bakassi wars, the fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia and Rwanda, among others.”

The party expressed full support and “an honest, holistic and total war against corruption” and “the trial and prosecution of all those involved, including those who may have returned ‘loots’ to government.” PDP said it is completely against any one-sided public trial and mob conviction of accused persons without following the age-long and worldwide legal process wherein all accused persons are presumed innocent until the contrary is lawfully proved.

“We do not believe that mere investigation confers a guilt verdict on those concerned and government should stop the brutal mob and public conviction of individuals and the transfer of the burden of proof of people being investigated,” the statement added. PDP called for the establishment of a National Truth Commission where politicians and other Nigerians can publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practice in the country. “This commission would also provide a platform for a proper public inquisition into the mindboggling wealth of some Nigerians in public office.

“Nevertheless, if indeed President Buhari, in anyway whatsoever, desires to probe his opponent in the presidential election, he should come out straight instead of going round in circles. “If indeed the government is interested in ending sleazes associated with campaign funds, the National Truth Commission will present an avenue for Nigerians to openly debate the issues therein with facts and figures,” the party noted. It said it would no longer allow major beneficiaries of its 16 years in power, “especially those with a lot of proven baggage to attempt to adorn a sanctimonious apparel by castigating and denigrating a party on which platform they had the opportunity to serve.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement yesterday, said the suspected looters are lucky that Nigerians are not as incautious as they are, otherwise they would not be able to walk around freely, not to talk of having the effrontery to fire darts at the government that inherited their rot or the people who are suffering the consequences.

The Federal Government was reacting to comments credited to Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu that businesses may collapse in the next six months because the Muhammadu Buhari administration has mismanaged the economy.

Describing the comments as the clearest indication that the PDP and its leaders are still in denial about the massive body blows they inflicted on the Nigerian economy, Mohammed said the PDP administration looted billions of Naira allocated for the fight against insurgency, causing many innocent and patriotic soldiers to die needlessly, yet they are not remorseful.

“They looted the treasury to influence the last elections, doling out money as if it was going out of fashion, yet they continue to grandstand,” he said. According to the Federal Government, the PDP officials should bury their faces in shame for plundering the nation’s resources rather than blame Buhari for the present economic woes.

The minister said: “If there was still any honour left among thieves, there is no way the leaders of a party under whose watch the nation’s economy suffered a monumental mismanagement and the Central Bank was turned to the ATM or piggy bank of a few people will have the temerity to insult a government that is working hard to turn things around or the citizens who are bearing the brunt of such mismanagement.

“It is now clear to all Nigerians that if the PDP had won the last general elections, Nigeria’s economy would not have survived one more month, considering the battering it received under the immediate past administration. It is therefore unconscionable that those who should show contrition and hunker down to avoid public opprobrium are the same ones pointing an accusing finger at the Buhari administration.

“In the latest revelation, a minister under the immediate past dispensation admitted to sharing N600 million to six chairmen of the Contact and Mobilisation Committee of the PDP for the last general elections, N300 million to an account given by a former PDP chairman, N200 million to a PDP governorship candidate and N100 million to a former PDP governor.

This is just one case out of many, yet these revelations are but a tip of the iceberg of what Nigerians will hear in the days ahead.” Lashing out further on Ekweremadu, the Federal Government challenged him to tell Nigerians who ‘dollarised’ the Nigerian economy by bribing many individuals and groups with dollars during the last elections, thus inflicting a knockout punch on the local currency.

The government noted that though the Buhari administration met an economy that was in coma, it had refused to use that as an excuse for inaction, hence the various measures being put in place to turn around the economy. “The outcome of the months of hard work will manifest soon in the 2016 national budget that will give succour to millions of Nigerians who are reeling from fallout of the solecism of the immediate past administration that turned the country into a cash bazaar,” it said.

It also assured that despite the mind-boggling revelations about looting and the mismanagement by self-styled economic wizards, the economy will bounce back under the watch of Buhari, who is bringing probity and transparency back into governance.