Post Views: 726 The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday said recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by Minister of State for P...
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday said recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, alleging a $25bn sleaze in the nation’s oil behemoth- the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has further confirmed the Federal Government’s level of hypocrisy in the ongoing anti-corruption war.
The party, in a statement by Prince Dayo Adeyeye, its National Publicity Secretary, expressed shock at his loud silence over “the humongous corruption scandal and other illegalities currently being exposed at the nation’s cash cow, the NNPC,” involving the Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru and Dr. Kachikwu, his immediate predecessor.
It challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to live above board at a time his prides himself as an indefatigable corruption fighter and allow Baru, his protégé, now accused of corruption to be properly investigated and prosecuted, as a show of his impartiality in the anti-corruption war and in the process, correct the impression of Nigerians that the war is a tool for persecuting perceived enemies of the President.
This, the statement added, is because, the allegation leveled against Baru by Kachikwu is “too grave to be swept under the carpet and we insist that the NNPC GMD must be treated like an accused who should not have the opportunity to influence investigation into his alleged misdeeds.”
To allow for proper investigation of the allegation by relevant anti-corruption agencies, the PDP demanded an immediate suspension of Baru, insisting also that if indeed there was sincerity in the war against corruption; Buhari needed no prodding before ordering an investigation of the matter.
It lamented that as a further proof of the hypocrisy, the President continues to play the ostrich over the alleged $25bn (about N9tr, which is bigger than the nation’s annual budget), while dedicating so much time and resources to investigating the $2bn arms fund allegedly converted by the former National Security Adviser, for which hundreds of Nigerian have been arrested and hounded.
“We may as well say that the privileged class of APC (the ruling All Progressives Congress) members enjoys total immunity from the anti-corruption campaign,” stressing that amidst the double-faced corruption war and cover-ups, the looting of Nigeria’s resources under this administration is record setting.
Such hypocrisy, it continued, is customary of the administration, which it added, could be trying to shield Baru as it did for Babachir lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who was merely suspended to allow for the public outcry generated by the fraud in the management of the emergency fund for Internally Displaced Persons in the Boko Haram insurgency ravaged North East zone to die down.
This, it said, is just as the outcome of investigation of cash discovered at the Ikoyi apartment and linked to Ambassador Ayodele Oke, the now suspended Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is still treated as official secret.
The part noted the act of illegality and double standard by the President who refused to hand Lawal over to the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for proper investigation and possible prosecution for graft. Instead, it said, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was asked to investigate the sleaze, a move unknown to any of the nation’s laws.
The decision not release Osinbajo’s report, the statement continued, is probably because President Buhari “could not bear to see ne of his closest allies punished by the laws of the land, even when all facts show that blatant and unbridled theft was perpetrated by the President’s man.”
The fraud, it stressed, is one of the many reasons Nigeria’s economy has nosedived, wondering “what the stench will be when the real and hidden atrocities being perpetrated under the watch of President Buhari are finally exposed when Nigerians throw the APC government out of power in 2019.
“If the President’s powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, could sit on the NNPC board and such calamity is taking place without an eyelid beign blinked, we are forced to believe that the stealing is being done to the advantage of the President who has shon by his body language that the only thing that matters most to him for now, is his second term ambition.”
Reacting to plans by the National Assembly to investigate the allegation against the NNPC GMD, the PDP called on the Ad-hoc committee set up for the purpose to adopt open sitting “so that nothing will be surreptitiously swept under the carpet.”