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Politics of Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Source: Daily Trust

PDP, APC fight dirty over ‘stolen’ billions from govt coffers

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have “clashed” over monies allegedly stolen by successive administrations from 1999 to 2021.

Secretary of the APC Caretaker Committee, Senator John J. Akpan Udoedehe in a statement on Tuesday said the 16 years of PDP administration was characterised by “looting of public funds”, adding that the party should spare Nigerians of the trauma of a reminder of the “disaster.”

The party said, “Going by the cankerworm of revelations after the descent of PDP, the CBN’S VAULT was thrown open and virtually abandoning professionalism; where individuals drove in to cart away raw cash as political patronages and without recourse to paperwork and inflationary consequences.

“We need to remind all patriotic Nigerians, once again of the missing $20 billion from the coffers of government as reported by the then country’s Number 1 banker (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi).”

“Monies (Billions of Naira meant for arms importation) were reportedly discovered in private jets belonging to ‘allies of the then government’ in faraway South Africa, by the South African authorities, yet no questions were asked and no answers were given by the Nigerian government. There was indeed, reasonable grounds for a cover-up.

“Over $16billion, as was the yet rotten revelation from public hearings, that was shared amongst friends in the name of power sector reforms by the PDP government, yet nothing to show for it. This much was established by the Elumelu Committee’s report.

“Billions of dollars reportedly budgeted for the importation of arms to fight terrorism, particularly the Boko Haram, ended up in private accounts of politicians and their cronies which was the infestation of the Dasukigate scandal.

“PDP wasted billions of dollars on marabouts, clergies and traditional rulers to purchase clout and support for its ill-fated political aspirations.

“Projects to the tune of billions of naira were completely abandoned after funds were budgeted accordingly, yet diverted to chase private ambitions. Might become right in all elections during the PDP era – even in the Governor’s Forum elections; 16 became greater than 19,” the party added.

‘Account for looted N15 trillion’

Reacting, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan asked the APC to account for N15 trillion allegedly stolen by its leaders.

“The PDP assures that these antics will not save the APC and its indicted leaders from answering for atrocities which include the stealing of over N15 trillion public funds, manipulating the Buhari administration and importing terrorists and bandits for 2019 general elections who are now on the rampage, killing innocent Nigerians, particularly in the northern parts of our nation.

“We know that APC’s attack is a desperate diversionary tactic as more revelations continue to emerge on how its leaders and some presidency officials pillaged our national treasury and stole over N15 trillion naira as well as how the APC has been patronizing bandits with our national resources.

“The APC had become rattled because of pressure from the PDP and other well-meaning Nigerians asking President Buhari to go after APC leaders as well as Presidency officials involved in the reported stealing of N9.6 trillion ($25 billion) oil revenue as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo.

“APC leaders are having sleepless nights because the dragnet would soon catch up with all of them involved in the reported stealing of N1.1 trillion worth of crude using 18 unregistered vessels; the looting of over N2 trillion in hazy oil subsidy regime, including a criminal under-recovery for unnamed West African countries as well as illegal tax per litre of petrol running into trillions of naira.

“APC leaders are also jittery because they would soon explain how they siphoned N500bn Social Investment Programme and the N16bn meant for Mosquito Net Project, as exposed by First Lady Aisha Buhari in addition to the N90 billion stolen from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), in a racket in which certain top APC leaders were alleged to have received N3 billion each.

“Very top officials in the Buhari Presidency have gone under over their alleged involvement in the looting of N33 billion NEMA fund as exposed in the findings by the House of Representatives that the funds were never used for the provision of emergency food for victims of insurgency in the Northeast among other items as claimed.

“Some known APC leaders are now running amok over their involvement in the siphoning of the N48 billion meant for the rebuilding of six northeast states ravaged by insurgency as well as the looting of N25 billion from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), among others,” the party said.

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