Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday raised an alarm alleging that key revenue sources of the federal government such as Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and others have been invaded by persons claiming to be close associates of President Muhammadu Buhari with outrageous financial and contract demands.
The party said the ‘invasion’ is in a manner that compromises the anti-corruption stance of the President just as it queried the genuineness of its change slogan. According to the PDP, the delay by the President to constitute a cabinet has created loopholes which are now being exploited by some persons allegedly close to the seat of power.
“Despite the absence of approving and supervising officials, key income generating institutions like NNPC, NIMASA, NPA, FIRS and other strategic agencies have been invaded by persons claiming to be friends and associates of the President and this puts to question the sincerity and seriousness of the administration to affect the so-called change upon which they rode to power,” the party alleged.
National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, who said this in a press statement yesterday, argued that the party, in providing an alternative to the ruling party vie constructive criticisms, will not allow itself to be blackmailed. The party said rather than submit to strange tactics; President Buhari should commence implementation of his campaign promises for which he was voted into office.
PDP stressed that no amount of intimidation, blackmail and propaganda by the Presidency would stop it from standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians in demanding that President Buhari kick-starts governance. The party said Presidency’s excuse of clearing the so-called “Aegean Stable” is lame and diversionary noting that it stands by its statement that the delay is creating loopholes through which some persons claiming closeness to the President have infiltrated executive bodies, arm-twisting and conniving with unscrupulous elements in the bureaucracy to siphon the nation’s resources in the last 30 days.
“The PDP and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians were appalled by the response from the Presidency regarding our call for prayers to enable President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration to locate its bearing, compose a government and halt the prevailing stagnation with its huge negative impact on the system.
“Instead of addressing the issues raised, the Presidency descended to insults, abuses and innuendos, a stance which not only bears out the case made by the PDP but also raises questions about the capacity of this administration to shoulder the enormous responsibility of governance and demanded that the APC and the presidency should let the spirit of democracy reign.
“While we expect the present administration to be serious about the fight against corruption, probe and persecute each and everyone involved in such, irrespective of their party leaning, we restate that these must be done within the ambits of the law and must not be used as a witch-hunt ostensibly to discredit and undermine the opposition. We therefore caution against the current drama of politicizing the issue of corruption in the country. “Furthermore, the analogy of the Aegean stable is completely baffling to us at this level as it goes to a great length to question the capacity and the sincerity of those around the president.
“In Greek mythology, Hercules in his ingenuity took the task and efficiently cleared the Aegean stable in a day for which he demanded a reward of a tenth of fine cattle belonging to the king. “Nigerians would not want to believe that in the so-called clearing of the Augean stable, although not delivering in one day, President Buhari wants to play Hercules in his demand, this time, by wanting to run the government alone without the statutory components of the executive as enshrined in the constitution.
“We ask, is the so-called clearing of mess responsible for his inability after 90 days of winning an election to make up his mind on rudimentary appointments such as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff and his demand for 15 Special Advisers as approved by the PDP controlled Seventh Assembly since June 5, 2015? “Perhaps we need to draw President Buhari’s attention to the fact that while he is busy clearing his imaginary mess on the pages of newspapers, some persons claiming closeness to him have in the last 30 days been piling up sleazes that also need his attention in key agencies of government.
“Auxiliary to this is the issue of the construction of a helipad, amongst various expenses and other major government expenditure going on across board in the last one month and without due supervision as the eyes of the President cannot be everywhere. “We declare unequivocally that we do have respect for the person and office of the President especially considering his age and status as an elder statesman.
However, we will like to make it very clear that the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria is neither a Sherriff in the Old Wild West nor a military dictator in some banana republic. He is an elected president under a democratic setting”, the PDP stated.