Peoples Democratic Party Has Said For President Muhammadu Buhari To Be Taken Serious In His Corruption War, He Must First Purge His Government Which Came Into Being On Corrupt Grounds
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Federal Government, formed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a product of corruption and as such has a moral problem in fighting corruption without purging itself first, says opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party explained that despite the “holier than thou” posture of the Buhari government, there is incontrovertible evidence that corrupt practices are ongoing, and allowed to fester, by associates and cronies of government, including former and present APC governors and others who played major roles in financing the president’s campaigns with allegedly stolen state funds. The PDP said these yesterday in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh.
“Charity, they say begins at home”, PDP said, adding that “for the APC-led government, it has now become a question of “physician, heal thyself”. Every discerning mind knows that this administration is not executing a credible holistic war against corruption because it is a product of corruption, surrounded by corrupt persons; a factor apparently responsible for its obvious blind eyes to huge sleaze now being perpetrated in government agencies by persons claiming closeness to the President”.
The PDP said while it is not averse to the fight against corruption, “the onus lies on the APC-led Federal Government to wage a credible and holistic anti-corruption war by first purging itself of unclean association and coming out clear on sleaze already going on in government quarters since it took office in May”.
The party said these have created a system that is neck deep in corruption, while the government hoodwinks unsuspecting public with propaganda. “Whereas the PDP restates its respect for the person and office of the President as well as our support for the war against corruption, it is incumbent on us to alert Nigerians of the prevailing circumstances around this government that are capable of fundamentally undermining good governance if left unchecked.
“It is indeed alarming that in so short a time, an administration that rode to power on claims of anti-corruption credentials, has broken the records in constitutional violations and abuse of regulations, especially in its adamant stance to run a government without the statutory components of a full cabinet, thereby creating loopholes for APC interests to invade key government agencies for inflated concessions, allocations, jobs and other financial sleazes.
“How else can one explain the deliberate constitutional violations in the appointment of heads of financial handling federal agencies; such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Asset Management Cooperation of Nigeria (AMCON), without due process of ministerial consultations and legislative clearance, as the case may be? Is this a scheme to open up these key finance institutions for malpractices and turn them into cash cows for APC interests?
“This is in addition to ongoing maneuverings in the oil sector, where clandestine moves are on to award oil refining licenses to cronies without the due process of open bidding, as well as statutory guidelines and checks by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
“Similarly, we invite Nigerians to note that the APC-led administration has not been forthcoming on how it has been depleting the funds it inherited in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and other government savings. Are they the source of the funds now being circulated to pay back huge contributions for APC Presidential campaign expenses?
“Furthermore, we wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the fact that this administration, for obvious reasons, has deliberately turned a blind eye to the corrupt acts of most APC leaders, who as governors, ministers and labour leaders have been the worst corrupt set of people ever to bestride the political landscape of the country.
“Otherwise, how else can one explain the deafening silence by the government to the public outrage over the massive looting of public funds by some past APC governors? “How can the Federal Government explain its continued silence to the current indignation in one of the prominent South West APC state over corruption issues, including but not limited to alleged mismanagement of N32 billion SURE-P fund; N78 million state money allegedly spent on the personal website of a former APC governor, who is also accused of inflating a N2.1 billion contract for the construction of pedestrian bridges, N25 billion for 1.36 kilometre link bridge, US$200 million World Bank education fund while leaving behind N500 billion debt arising from alleged reckless spending?
“Why has the Federal Government maintained a sealed lips on charges of looting, diversion of state funds as well as the embarrassing accusations of stashing away of billion of naira state funds in foreign banks by a former APC governor of a South South state?, PDP asked.
The party also wondered why what it described as ‘reprehensible pillaging of state treasury by the last APC administration in a prominent Northern state’, including the alleged mismanagement of N10 billion belonging to pensioners, which that government has failed to account for.
“What is the Federal Government’s stance on yet another prominent APC governor in the North who, as a former minister, was indicted by the Senate for corrupt practices and embezzlement of over N32 billion proceed from the sale of government property, for which he was disgracefully declared unfit to hold public office by the highest law making body in the land?
“We therefore challenge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration to show integrity and commitment in the fight against corruption by first cleaning its house and coming out clear on the numerous sleazes going on presently under its watch”, PDP stated.
– Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja