UPDATED: One PDP Minister Stole $6bn, US Tells Buhari, Says Oshiomhole
Senior officials of the United States told President Muhammadu Buhari last week that one minister “cornered” $6 billion under Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in Nigeria.
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who accompanied Buhari to Wasington DC during his four-day official visit, disclosed this in an interview with State House journalists today after meeting with the president.
“The PDP destroyed the country. I mean from the lips of American officials, senior officials of the State Department said one minister, under PDP, cornered as much as $6 billion. The man said even by Washington standards, that is earth-shattering.
“So, PDP is. a party that presided over the liquidation of our nation, destroyed all our institutions, converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs, converted NTA to a party megaphone, destroyed the SSS, went after opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued in to our holes, compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of and elevated religion to a state affair.”
He added that during PDP’s reign, religious and ethnic tensions were so stoked that Christians were pitched against Muslims, while the various geopolitical zones clashed all the time as each sought to outsmart others purely on selfish interests.
“Just to retain power, Obas and Obis were elevated with dollars. You guys were reporting dollars that were changing hands; when NNPC was spending much more money than is available to the Federation Account,” he said.
“We are a very patient people. If we were not a patient people, anybody wearing the tag of PDP ought to feel very unsafe because you are all victims- all of us here.”
He recalled a visit to Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary of state, in company of Senator Saraki, who was chairman of the governors’ forum at the time, on the eve of President Barack Obama’s first visit to Africa.
“We went to complain, ‘why is Nigeria not on the list?’” Oshiomhole said.
“What he said for me was quite instructive compared to what he said last week. Then I was present when he said, ‘you know, we who see ourselves not just as friends of Nigeria, each time we think there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is time to encourage Nigeria to build on it, you would wake up the following day under President Jonathan to find out that even the tunnel had been removed’.
“Those were the words of Mr. Carson. Now, last week, this same Carson chaired the president’s address at the Institute of Peace and he said ‘we now have a man of enormous integrity; one that has shown so much faith in the democratic process; one that refused to be frustrated even in the face of massively rigged elections.
He submitted to the judicial process and even when that was compromised he never gave up’.
“‘America has done its check and we are convinced that this president is the one that Nigeria needs at this time to regain its leadership of the African continent. America now has a partner worthy of relations because they believe that every dollar that America provides to support Nigeria whether in the area of security, in the area of education, or encouraging American investors to invest in Nigeria, there is an enabling environment because what had been destroying the country is corruption.“
“You have so much capital outflow; so, America is ready to stand side-by-side to support this president to achieve his core objective of fighting corruption, restoring security, creating jobs and redistributing prosperity.’”