APC, PDP Back Buhari’s Anti-corruption Fight

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The All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption but disagree on his method for prosecuting the war

BOTH the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party are backing the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari. While the APC supports  Buhari’s decision to probe the immediate past federal government, saying the revelations of mind-boggling corruption that are just beginning to emerge have made such a probe imperative, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the umpteenth time, says it is on the same page with the federal government on the fight against corruption, but stated that due process must be followed to ensure that it is not used as a guise to victimise innocent citizens and curtail the freedom of
Nigerians.

The PDP, in a statement issued by Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary, on Tuesday, July 28, said the clarification became necessary to remove any misconception that it was  against the decision of the present
administration to probe some past officials of government because they are PDP members.

“The PDP supports the decision of the federal Government to fight corruption in our country. However, we make bold to state that it should not be used as a guise to victimise innocent citizens. Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria and no citizen, irrespective of political, religious or ethnic affiliation should be denied access to due process and the rule of law in the process.

“In the same vein, we want to state categorically that the
anti-corruption war, whilst targeted at the immediate past
administration should not by any means be blind to the impunity of the present leaders of the country either in terms of borrowing and spending without recourse to the statutory arms and organs of government and dictates of transparency and accountability, or in terms of nepotism in appointments in key institutions such as INEC and the DSS.

“The anti-corruption effort must not be blind to the corrupting of the security system resulting in the intrusion by over-zealous operatives on issues bordering purely on politics; the hounding, arrest and detention of Resident Electoral Officers and members of election tribunals in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and other PDP states.

“Furthermore we make bold to state that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. In that regard therefore, we advice members of the APC blowing the horn ahead of the cart to keep quiet because many of them have been major beneficiaries of corruption and sleazes associated with themselves and their allies, especially one of them who as a disguised errand boy of a well-known APC leader is a major beneficiary of the largesse of perpetrators of corruption.

“Apart from Mr. President, who for now, is not associated with any sleaze or corrupt activity in this democracy, most APC leaders are still those who as governors, ministers and labour leaders have been the worst corrupt set of Nigerians ever to bestride the political landscape of the country.

“It is a great miscarriage of perception therefore for APC leaders who are perpetrators of sleazes and corrupt acts to attempt to deceive Nigerians with imaginary holiness in this anti-corruption war by the President.

“Consequently, we counsel Mr. President, as the leader of the APC to remove the log in the eyes of his party while we support his commitment to remove the speck from the eyes of others” PDP said.

However, the All Progressives Congress said some people have “insinuated that the Buhari Administration should ignore the massive looting of our patrimony and move on. We say no responsible government can afford to do that, because it will amount to endorsing corruption and impunity,” the party said in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, July 28, by its Lai Mohammed, national publicity secretary.

It said in the oil sector alone, billions of dollars have been skimmed off by pathologically-corrupt public officials, wondering how the government of the day can meet its obligations to the citizens if it refuses to recover the huge funds taken away by thieving officials

”It is an irony that those who are suggesting that the Buhari Administration should turn a blind eye to the incomprehensible looting are the same ones accusing the government of not doing anything. It is even a cruel irony that the same party that presided over what is fast emerging as the worst governance in the history of our country is the same one that is daily bad-mouthing an Administration that is cleaning up its mess,”” APC said.

The party said even if all the acts of corruption that were perpetrated during the tenure of the last administration are limited to what is now in the public domain, it is still absolutely exigent for the Buhari Administration to do all it can to bring the perpetrators to book and recover the looted funds.

”Where does one start from? Is it the fact that the NNPC failed to remit 3.8 trillion Naira to the Federation Account or the mind-blowing stealing of 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day? Is it the fact that the NNPC itself does not know how many bank accounts it had or into which ones the payments for Nigerian crude are made? Could anyone have imagined that a government minister would steal the unprecedentedly-huge amount of 6 billion US dollars of public funds as being alleged?

”How does any sane person rationalize the fact that 1 billion dollars was unilaterally and illegally withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account just because, as the immediate past Minister of Finance has disclosed, the President ordered the withdrawal? What about the billions of Naira waivers recklessly approved to dubious importers by the Jonathan administration?

”Is it not clear now that the stealing and the profligacy – more than anything else, including the fall in oil price – helped to drastically reduce the monthly allocation from the Federation Account from about 800 billion Naira to about 400 billion Naira, thus pauperizing the states and the local governments, and by extension the citizenry?

”Against the background of the stunning revelations, what message will any government be sending to its citizens and indeed the global community by looking the other way, when it could still recover some of the looted funds for the benefit of the people? This is why we are supporting the Buhari Administration’s probe decision, and calling on all Nigerians to support ongoing efforts to get to the root of the matter,” it said.

Mohammed said: “it is now clear that the Jonathan administration cleverly delayed giving the then incoming Buhari government the handover note so as to avoid being asked critical questions pertaining to the unprecedented looting under its watch.”

—  July 29. 2015 @ 8.30 GMT

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