PDP Asks Buhari To Probe 1984 Security Votes, PTF; You Are Shameless, FG Replies
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the presidency yesterday re-engaged in a war of words over corruption, with the opposition party daring the administration to institute a truth commission to probe utilisation of security votes back to 1984.
The acrimony was further worsened by assertions made by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu that the country could be headed towards a revolution given the downward slide of the economy.In an apparent reaction to the fresh spew of allegations against officials of the immediate past administration, the PDP faulted the administration for supposedly engaging in a media trial of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, daring the administration to come clean on how it obtained its own funds for the 2015 elections.
The administration, responding through Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information flayed the opposition party for its lack of shame in the face of what he claimed was the ruin of the economy by its leaders.
The PDP, while welcoming the investigations of its government in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, however, condemned what it described as a media trial and dared the administration to extend the investigations into the utilisation of security votes to 1984 when President Muhammadu Buhari was military head of state.
“We restate for emphasis that a media and public war against corruption is good, but it should not be limited to only those opposed to the President and the ruling party. In fact, until top officials of the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it remains premature to be accusing our party members of corrupt practices.
“Nevertheless, if indeed the government’s investigation includes the expenditure of President Jonathan security votes from 2011, then it should be extended to a public inquisition on the following:
*The security votes of past presidents and Heads of state from 1984.
*Contract award by the Petroleum Trust Fund from 1995 to 1999.
*The expenditure of military purchases and expenditure during the Bakassi wars, the fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, among others.
*The source of funding of the PDP and APC’s 2015 presidential campaigns; the contributions from APC-controlled state governors for their presidential campaign and the beneficiaries thereof.
The highest elected political office holder in PDP, Ekweremadu, had at a PDP Southeast zonal caucus meeting in Enugu last Saturday expressed concern on what he described as the administration’s inability to manage the economy warning at the prospect of a revolution breaking out.
Accusing the PDP officials of living in denial, Mohammed said: “Senator Ekweremadu complained about the depreciation of the Naira without telling Nigerians who ‘dollarized’ the Nigerian economy by bribing many individuals and groups with dollars during the last elections, thus inflicting a knock-out punch on the local currency. He also failed to tell Nigerians which government presided over the frenzied mop-up of dollars, either for ‘armsgate’ or for slush fund purposes, from the CBN to a point where it almost ran out of the hard currency,’’ he said
“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.’’
“In the next six months Onitsha and Alaba markets will shut down. If government does not do anything, I’m not a prophet of doom, but I believe if nothing urgent is done to reverse the ugly development, we will have revolution in our hands.
“Both our nationals and foreigners are worried; we need to inform APC that Nigerians are dying, unless APC changes style, Nigerians will in 2019 be begging PDP to come back,” he said.
The assertion drew the sharp response of the administration which responding through the Minister of Information charged Ekweremadu and his colleagues in the PDP to hide in shame after their party mismanaged the economy.
“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,’’ Mohammed, said in a statement on Sunday.
“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,’’ he said.
‘’They 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.
‘’They looted the billions of Naira that were 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.