…accused ruling party of frustrating war against corruption and suppressing information
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday, accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of deliberate hoarding of relevant information from Nigerians on the extent of corruption in his administration.
This is even as the party said Nigerians have noted the blackmails, intimidation, and threats coming from government quarters, “in their feverish bid to frustrate whistleblowers and truncate on-going uncovering of widespread corruption in ministries, departments and agencies, under the All Progressives Congress, APC administration.”
Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said one of such antics by this administration was Tuesday, July 28, 2020 press conference by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, “wherein he dared Nigerians, particularly whistleblowers, despite revelations of rampant corruption virtually in all aspects of government under the APC.”
He said: “Our party is however not surprised that this corrupt administration resorted to distortion of facts and daring of citizens when its officials from the top to the bottom are all soiled in the foul potage of corruption.
“It is ridiculous that this administration seeks to claim credit for the investigation and unearthing of fraud in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC when it is already public knowledge that the investigation only came as a result of pressure mounted by our party and other Nigerians.
“This is more so as the corruption in the EFCC under the APC had reached an embarrassing crescendo that it could no longer be concealed.
“Such humongous corruption in the EFCC under the APC confirms the level of financial malfeasance and a shameful breach of trust by this administration, in which very top officials of the Buhari Presidency had been mentioned.
“We challenge the APC federal government to give an account of the N800 billion, which Lai Mohammed claimed to have been recovered, especially given allegations that recovered monies have been re-looted and shared among topmost officials of the Buhari administration and APC leaders.
“Rather than resorting to false performance claims, the expectation of Nigerians is that this administration would have sent Lai Mohammed to apologise for this display of gross abuse of position especially as it relates to the fight against corruption.
“We further invite Nigerians to note that Lai Mohammed, in his press conference, admitted that he could not go into the details of the various corruption issues in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, EFCC, and other agencies.
“Our party holds that this is an evasion of gory tales of direct stealing, treasury looting and barefaced embezzlements by government officials and APC leaders as already exposed in on-going investigations at the National Assembly and at the presidential panel.
“With this shocking suppression of information related to corrupt practices, by no other person than the Minister of Information, Nigerians and the world at large are no longer in doubt that concealment of corruption in ministries, department, and agencies is an official policy of the APC administration because their leaders are involved.”
The publicity scribe further added that “It’s for the same reason the APC and its government had suppressed the prosecution of officials indicted in the N90 billion stolen from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, in which top members of the APC were mentioned.
“This is in addition to the suppression of prosecution of APC leaders involved in the reported looting of N33billion from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the stealing of over N18 billion from the rehabilitation of IDPs in the Northeast as well as the over N25 billion from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others.”
He continued: “We challenge Lai Mohammed to name those behind the $2.5 billion (N1.175 trillion) Chinese Gates oil theft scandal, in which officials of this administration were alleged to have been involved.
“We also challenge the minister to name those behind the looting in National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, North East Development Commission, and the NDDC.
“In doing that, Lai Mohammed should also offer some explanations on his alleged role in the reported National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, N2.5 billion fraud, for which Nigerians had demanded his investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Related Commission, ICPC.
“Nigerian have not also forgotten how the nation was defrauded with a fictitious Nigeria Air which only flew on the internet under the watch of this administration.
“As a party, we sympathize with our nation for having an administration that is replete with looters, who in the last five years have been dipping their leprous hands into the till at the expense of governance while Mr. President’s silence makes him complicit.”