By Akanimo Sampson
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of corruptionand fleecing of innocent citizens through an alleged hidden taxes to fund theirre-election bid.
Media and Publicity Director of the campaign organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in Abuja that the opposition party is challenging Buhari to speak out on the alleged fleecing of Nigerians to the tune of N2.6 trillion through a hidden illegal N48 tax per liter of petrol which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidised cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidised cost of N145.
For the party, the direct booing, jeering and rejection of Buhari by some members of the two chambers of the National Assembly at the 2019 budget presentation on Wednesday, was a kind of vote of no confidence on his administration.
According to Ologbondiyan, ‘’the spontaneous action of the lawmakers, at the joint session of the National Assembly, is a resounding and unambiguous vote of no confidence and unmistaken expression of President Buhari’s rejection by the Nigerian public, across the divides, who are fed up with his incompetent, divisive and corrupt administration, which has brought so much hunger, starvation, escalated violence and bloodletting to our country.
‘’The open rejection of President Buhari by the lawmakers, representing all the federal constituencies and senatorial zones across our country, shows that Mr. President no longer enjoys the support of Nigerians across the country; that he no longer has any political foothold and only awaits a crushing defeat in the 2019 general election.
‘’What else do Nigerians want from a President, who has openly confessed his lack of capacity to find solutions to the myriads of problems his administration brought and on that note promised Nigerians more sufferings and hardship in the coming year? This is more so as his scripted presentation at the budget session was full of false performance indices, claims of non-existent projects, half-truths, bogus fiscal projections, beguilements and new list of fake promises, which Nigerians have since seen through.’’
PDP is claiming that Buhari dwelt on ‘’fictitious figures, unrealistic projections’’ and could not give a credible account of the performance of the 2018 budget, which like other annual budgets, since he came into office has remained unimplemented, due to sheer incompetence and
humongous corruption in his Presidency. No wonder he was booed by the lawmakers.
Continuing, they said, ‘’in the budget, it is ridiculous that Mr. President can defend N60 million liters of fuel as daily consumption by vehicles in Nigeria whereas before he was elected into office, he publicly declared that the use of 30 million liters of fuel per day was a fraud. Is not also ludicrous that between 2015 and now, the figure of daily consumption of fuel has doubled in the same economy that has witnessed a secession twice under his watch?
‘’Mr. President could not give cogent explanation on the handling of defence budgets under his watch particularly in the face of allegations of diversion of military funds to fund his re-election bid as well as the neglect of our troops, leading to the killing of hundreds of our soldiers fighting insurgency in the North East. President Buhari continued to refer to our citizens, during the budget presentation, as “the Nigerian people”, stance, which shows his distance and lack of connection with compatriots.
According to the PDP, by the incident in the National Assembly during the budget presentation, it should be clear to Buhari and the APC that the game is up and that Nigerian are no longer ready to accept an incompetent administration that thrives only in propaganda, falsehood and deceit. ‘’Our citizens are very eager to usher in a new era of credible, transparent and competent government; the very reasoan they are rallying behind the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
‘’All that is now left for President Buhari and the APC is to accept their rejection and end their schemes to drag the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security forces into their desperation to cause confusion and rig the election as such will be firmly resisted by Nigerians.
‘’Nigerians were again shocked at the revelations that President Buhari and his APC are seeking to fleece unsuspecting and already impoverished Nigerians through the extortion of N1.2 billion from poor beneficiaries of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, to fund Mr. President’s ill-fated 2019 re-election bid. The PDP completely rejects this act of corruption and intimidation of our citizens and attempt by Buhari to receive financial kickback from beneficiaries of government intervention in violation of our financial regulations.’’
‘’Intelligence at our disposal’’, they went on, ‘’also reveals that this is yet another scheme by the Buhari Presidency siphon public funds and surreptitiously route same to Mr. President’s campaign.To achieve this ignoble scheme, the Buhari Presidency and the APC in their desperation went ahead to shamefully constitute a phony Anchor Borrowers Farmers’ Association, which they claimed has 12 million members, and through which they plan to siphon and launder money from public coffers to fund Buhari’s campaign.
‘’Our check reveals that no such association exists and that the membership figure is just a ruse, another fabrication and attempt at procurement of fake endorsement by the Buhari Presidency, to create an impression of that Nigerians are supporting Buhari and the APC. Further investigation reveals how the Buhari Presidency has been secretly diverting huge part of various social intervention funds to the Buhari campaign and handing paltry sums to Nigerians, as well as how
agents of the Presidency carrying out their vote buying project, particularly the Trader-moni scheme, have been illegally collecting 10 percent kickback from beneficiaries.
‘’The Buhari Presidency and the APC are seeking ways to legitimize their stealing of public funds to finance their campaign and service the wasteful lifestyles of their leaders. The PDP challenges Buhari to speak out and not continue to keep mum on alleged looting of over N11 trillion from the public coffers, including the diverted N9 trillion, as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, to finance his campaign. ‘’Mr. President should not continue to feign ignorance of these allegations bothering directly on corruption in his Presidency, as keeping quiet will not help him in the 2019 general election. This is because Nigerians have seen through the lies, deception and contrivances of his administration and are not ready to allow such to continue in 2019.’’