THE All Progressives Congress has described the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s criticism of the $1bn approved by the National Economic Council for the Boko Haram war as baseless and ridiculous.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in a statement in Abuja, on Monday, accused the PDP of mischief for insinuating that the APC-led administration was taking the money to build war chest ahead of the 2019 elections.
Abdullahi was reacting to a statement by the PDP in which the party alleged that the APC-led administration was being economical with the truth by saying it needed the approved $1bn to fight insurgency.
The PDP had in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, wondered why the ruling APC administration would request for such an amount of money to fight the insurgents it claimed to have “technically” defeated.
In response, the APC’s spokesman, Abdullahi, however, described the PDP’s allegations as preposterous, baseless and ridiculous.
The APC spokesperson explained that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum which approved the withdrawal had 11 PDP governors as members.
This, he said, meant that more than one-third of the NGF was made up of members of other parties other than the APC.
Abdullahi also wondered how possible it was for non-APC governors to support a decision to approve funds that were ostensibly meant to fund another party.
According to him, the PDP is by its own admission accusing its governors of disloyalty or suggesting that they were bewitched into supporting the decision.
The APC statement partly read, “We can understand why it is easy for the PDP to arrive at its ludicrous allegation. A similar approval in excess of $2bn was granted to the PDP government when they were in power.
“They knew what they did with the money. It is a classic case of a serial killer who sees even a table knife as a murder weapon.
“The PDP presided over a government that made it possible for money meant for weapons to be diverted into paying marabouts and all manner of political jobbers ahead of the 2015 elections.
“Therefore, the PDP thinks the same thing is about to happen. They have not realised that it is a new day and President Muhammadu Buhari will not play politics with money meant to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians or allow anyone to engage in such brigandage that Nigerians suffered under the PDP.”
In response to another allegation by the PDP that the Federal Government did not need the money to fight insurgency because it claimed that Boko Haram had been technically defeated, the APC said, “winning the peace remains a critical phase of warfare.”
While stressing that the military authorities had done enough to explain the situation, Abdullahi said it appeared that “the PDP does not understand that winning the peace is as important as winning the war.”
He aaded, “There is therefore no contradiction in saying that Boko Haram is technically defeated and saying that more weapons and training are needed for our military and the military of neighbouring countries whose cooperation is necessary to finally rid our countries of the menace of Boko Haram.”
The APC said, as a party, “it understands the pressure that the PDP is facing in its attempt to justify its role as an opposition party.” It however advised the PDP that the role of an opposition party was not the same as opposing everything, including those things critical to national interest.
The ruling party enjoined the opposition PDP to ensure that its governors demand accountability on the money they joined their counterparts in the APC to approve. – Punch
– Dec. 19, 2017 @ 12:14 GMT |