PDP accuses Presidency of shielding APC leaders from trial
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said that it had incontrovertible evidence of corrupt practices allegedly perpetrated by associates and cronies of government, including former and present All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and others who played major roles in financing political campaigns with alleged stolen state funds and were being protected by the APC-led Federal Government.
The party said this has created a system that is neck-deep in corruption, while the government hoodwinks unsuspecting public with propaganda.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement yesterday, said while the party is not averse to the fight against corruption, “the onus lies on the APC-led Federal Government to wage a credible holistic anti-corruption war by first purging itself of unclean association and coming out clear on sleazes already going on in government quarters since it took office in May.”
Metuh said: “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.
“Charity, they say, begins at home. 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 sleazes now being perpetrated in government agencies by persons claiming closeness to the President.
“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.”
The party, therefore, decried alleged violation of the constitution by the President by making some appointments without seeking clearance from the National Assembly.
“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 Services (FIRS) and the Asset Management Corporation 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?” the party said.
It also alleged that there were ongoing maneuverings in the oil sector where clandestine moves are on to award oil refining licences to cronies without the due process of open bidding as well as statutory guidelines and checks by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
On the protection allegedly being given to some APC leaders, the PDP said: “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 states 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 kilometres link bridge, $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?
“What about the reprehensible pillaging of state treasury by the last APC administration in a prominent North-West 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 North-West 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 lawmaking 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.”