President Muhammadu Buhari has been fighting corruption headlong, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday.
In response to a claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that corruption is more under Buhari’s administration, the ruling party asked the PDP to explain to Nigerians how it fought corruption in the 16 years it held power.
The APC said after presiding over monumental pilfering of national resources, the PDP should have been apologising to Nigerians rather than presenting itself for elective offices and accusing the government of not diligently fighting corruption.
In a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the APC accused the PDP of using diversionary tactics.
Nabena said despite spirited efforts by the PDP to discredit the anti-corruption efforts, the war is being won, adding that one often overlooked major achievement of the anti-corruption war is that President Buhari has brought the issue to the heart of national consciousness.
The statement said: “Although the opposition in a democracy is supposed to offer constructive criticisms and proffer alternative solutions to government policies and programmes, the opposition rhetoric of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is nothing but senseless noise-making, in its failed attempt to distract the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“In both content and context, PDP’s latest allegations on President Buhari administration’s anti-corruption efforts should be seen for what they are: empty, baseless and diversionary.
“The PDP may wish to explain to Nigerians under which administration a State Governor who was set free in many courts in Nigeria on charges of corruption and money laundering was tried and jailed in the United Kingdom.
“Is it not ironic that the PDP preaches about corruption in the oil sector when it in fact oversaw record pillage, maladministration and disrepair of the oil sector when it held sway.
“The PDP should remind Nigerians the circumstances under which the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), now Emir of Kano, lost his job in the bank. How many millions of dollars did he say was not remitted to the nation’s coffers on regular basis?
“The PDP may also explain the fuel subsidy scandals and how billions of the country’s funds went into private pockets; the massive seizures of properties and cash from public officers who served in the PDP Government.
“In 2015, Nigerians voted massively for the establishment of a truly progressive government to check the shocking level of impunity, corruption, disregard for the rule of law and other deplorable undemocratic practices which previously defined our national life. The APC assures all Nigerians that the President holds sacred this collective trust.
“Despite spirited efforts to discredit on-going anti-corruption efforts, the war against graft is being won. An often overlooked major achievement of the anti-corruption war is that President Buhari has brought the issue of corruption to the heart of national consciousness.
“The fact that Nigerians are talking about it means we have not accepted it as a way of life and as long as ordinary people continue to show that disdain for corruption, we would win the war sooner or later.
“Under President Buhari, the country has never had it so good. Yearly remittances by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) have been in billions of Naira, over and above what PDP governments remitted in 16 years; increasing yearly revenue from the Customs Service; within three years and despite low oil prices, execution of massive road and rail infrastructure while our foreign reserves has grown to over $47 billion- about $4billion more than that of South Africa.
“Under the administration of President Buhari, no minister will purchase bullet proof cars with public funds, nor will an oil minister junket the globe with family members in private jets at the public expense.
“Nigerians were taken for granted for too long and have vowed that enough is now enough. No degree of blackmail and wicked scheming will make us return to the years the locusts have eaten. We have crossed the Red Sea and have no intention to return to our ugly past.
“While the PDP and their agents attempt to discredit the ongoing fight against corruption, the question the PDP should answer is: are anti-corruption efforts being carried out within the ambit of the law?
“We urge the President, law enforcement agencies, anti-graft bodies and indeed Nigerians not to be sidetracked by the desperate and roguish attempt by the PDP and their agents to discredit the ongoing fight against corruption. It is natural, corruption will fight back!
“The assurances Nigerians can hold firm is that the APC will not fail the country like PDP’s wasted 16 years. While the PDP continue to spew lies in its cheap attempt at opposition politics, President Buhari is concentrating on the important work at hand – clearing the mess and rebuilding the country in all facets.”
The statement added: “It is truly amazing that that the party of a failed government which held the country prostrate for 16 years; stole, wasted and misappropriated our abundant resources will have the audacity to make comments on the current administration that within three years is clearing the rot left after the PDP’s misrule.
“Was it not under the PDP’s immediate-past administration that disclosures of nauseating magnitude were made”
Nabena listed such disclosure to include:
• I collected N350m from Dasuki for consultation – Iyorchia Ayu
• I only collected $30,000 from Dasuki not N100m – Bode George.
• I got N4.6b from Dasuki for spiritual purposes – Bafarawa.
• I got N2.16 from Dasuki for publicity purposes – Dokpesi.
• I got another N100m from Yuguda. He did not tell me from where – Bafarawa
• I gave N100m each to Odili, Jim Nwobodo, Bode George and others – Yuguda.
• The President asked to change N10b to foreign currency for PDP delegates – Dasuki.
• N950m was shared in my house – Shekarau
He added: “These are just a tip of the iceberg of how our commonwealth were massively looted by the shameless characters in the PDP. Instead of apologizing profusely for their gang rape of the nation, the PDP seeks to present itself before Nigerians in 2019 to seek a return to their stealing. The PDP should understand”.