The Peoples Democratic Party has accused the Federal Government of using the war against Boko Haram insurgency to siphon funds.
The PDP levelled the accusation over last week’s approval of $1 billion by the National Economic Council, populated largely by governors, most of who are members of the All Progressives Congress, to fight the Boko Haram insurgency.
The money into be taken from the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government.
A statement on Sunday by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan, said government’s criticism of the party is an attempt to divert attention from the siphoning of funds by the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration for purposes other than fighting terrorism.
Ologbondiyan said the allegation by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the PDP was rebranding with stolen money can also not be true.
He said this was because the party was not longer in power at the federal level and as such has no access to funds.
Rather, he said the party was rebranding based on the goodwill of Nigerians who are tired of the APC government.
Ologbondiyan said in the statement: “The Federal Government has failed to address issues raised by the PDP and majority of Nigerians, including APC members, who cannot fathom how this administration would want to expend N365 billion on fighting insurgents it claimed had been technically defeated.
“It is indeed appalling that rather than being remorseful, the APC Federal Government has renewed its wild allegations and cheap blackmail against the PDP.
“It is a clear to all that the PDP do not have access to public funds and cannot be rebranding with stolen money. Instead, we are rebranding on the grace of the general goodwill of Nigerians who have suffered untold hardships in close to three years of APC government.
“While we understand the nervousness of the APC Federal Government over our rebranding and the renewed popularity of the PDP, which has signaled their inevitable death knell, resorting to outlandish allegations will not help them as Nigerians have since seen through such old-fashioned propaganda and gimmicks.
“We are however not surprised by this diversionary and deceptive approach from the APC government; a government whose officials have since become notorious for dishing out falsehood to Nigerians to cover their incompetence and corrupt tendencies.
“This is the same Minister of Information, who in a press in conference in Abuja, in 2016, promoted allegations that 55 people stole a total of N1.34 trillion; that five former governors stole N146.8 billion; that four former ministers stole N7 billion. All these have remained unsubstantiated.
“While we challenge this Government to come clean on the issue of the $1 billion Excess Crude money, we also challenge the minister of information to comment on allegations that the APC funded its 2015 presidential campaign with stolen public funds, particularly from Lagos and Rivers states.
“He should also waste no time in commenting on allegations of corruption against their former SGF, Babachir Lawal, the Mainagate and other heavy sleazes going on unabated under the current APC-led administration.”
(the eagle online)