As Nigeria gradually come closer to its general election in 2019, issues of politics leading to name calling of those who allegedly looted nation's treasury are now the newest coming from Nigeria governing party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its leading opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was a new turn yesterday when All Progressive Congress-led federal Government named the National Chairman of People Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus; Former Publicity secretary of the party, Olisah Metuh and chairman of DAAR communication, Dr Raymond Dokpesi among treasury looters under the immediate past administration governed under the platform of People Democratic Party
Recall that the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan, had on channel’s Television Broadcast, under Sunrise Daily on Thursday challenging the All Progressive Congress (APC) led Administration to name the looters in PDP and also prosecute them
In a statement yesterday in Abuja monitored by urban express news correspondent on live broadcast under channels television's Politics today, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, insisted that Nigeria was looted blind under the watch of the PDP, adding that the starting point in tendering an apology is for them to return the loot.
He said: “They said they did not loot the treasury, well, I am sure they know that the treasury was looted dry under their watch. Yet, they decided to grandstand. This shows the hollowness of their apology to Nigerians.
“It’s like a robber admitting to stealing your car and apologising, but then saying he/she will keep the car anyway. It doesn’t work that way. Let’s just give them a teaser with this list.”
Mohammed alleged that Secondus, on February 19, 2015, took N200 million from the office of then National Security Adviser (NSA), while the then PDP financial secretary on October 24, 2014, took N600 million from the office of the then NSA.
He added that Metuh is on trial for collecting N1.4b from the office of the former NSA; Dokpesi for taking N2.1 billion from the office of then NSA; former senior special adviser to then President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, over N830 million allegedly kept in accounts of four different companies; while a Federal High Court on Thursday ruled that Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola, has a case to answer for allegedly collecting $40 million from the office of the former NSA.
Mohammed said this list was just a tip of the iceberg and that the APC did not make these cases up, as some of them currently have cases in court
“They are in court and the records are available. Some of the people on this list are seeking to plea bargain and that is a fact.
“We insist that Nigeria was looted blind under the watch of the PDP and that the starting point in tendering an apology is for them to return the loot,” he said.
“The PDP is a hypocrite. And that reminds me of what English writer, William Hazlitt, said: “The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.”
“We will not stop talking about the massive looting by the PDP. They brought Nigeria to this sorry pass. We are now looking around for loans to build infrastructure and they ask us not to talk about it. We will talk about it,” he added.
But in a swift reaction to the names released as looters by the federal government, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dismissed the list as hollow and laughable, saying it was an extension of federal government’s media trial and challenged it to come up with names of its members against whom the federal government had secured convictions.
“The list put forward by the federal government as purported looters amounts to a cheap blackmail, as none of those listed have been indicted or convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction or any panel of enquiry in our country,” the party insisted.
Continuing, Its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in countering what lai Mohammed alleged, said the list issued by the Minister of Information and Culture only goes to show that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency have no proof of corruption against the PDP.
He added: “In its frenzy and desperation, the federal government even included names of individuals who are not standing trial or under investigation for any act of corruption, as well as those who are not even PDP members.
“The Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has manifested its frenzy by going after matters that are in court and in which none of the persons have been convicted, thus betraying their wickedness and desperation to mislead the public and the court and divert attention from the heavy looting involving their members.
“We are not in doubt that the individuals he has mentioned will take their legitimate stride and pursue appropriate action in the court.
However, attacks on individuals, who are members of our party, do not in any way detract from the fact that the PDP, as a political platform, is not a party of corruption.
“It is unfortunate that the APC and its government, under whose watch, horrendous sleazes are happening on a daily basis, and a government that has failed to fulfill the littlest of its campaign promises, can spend a wholesome three years searching for flimsy allegations to discredit our party and its members.”
The statement continued: “This is a government that is yet to account for $26 billion (N9 trillion) stolen through corrupt oil contracts in the NNPC; N1.1 trillion worth of crude diverted to service APC interests; N18 billion Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), intervention fund stolen by APC officials, including their former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal; the N10 billion National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), for which members of the Buhari cabal were indicted; as well as the Mainagate, where the APC government recalled and reinstated an individual indicted for scam running into billions of naira.
“This is in addition to cover provided for serving ministers indicted for corrupt enrichment, among whom is a prominent former APC governor from the South-South, who was indicted by his state for stealing billions of naira to fund Buhari’s campaign in 2015.
“We emphatically say that the PDP is on a rebound and such flimsy allegations by the APC and its horde of looters, who stole humongous wealth from their respective states of the federation to sponsor an incompetent candidate in 2015, cannot stop us from challenging the federal government to fulfill its campaign promises.
“Since the APC has decided to draw this attack, we will no longer hold back, but appropriately commence a serialisation of all looters hiding in APC and the Presidency.”