By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the claim by President Muhammadu Buhari that it squandered the sum of $500bn oil proceeds within the 16 years it was in power, as baseless and unfounded.
The party urged the President not to allow his aides railroad him into peddling such “Groundless allegations and bandying of unverified figures,” as doing that could dent his personality.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Tuesday, said the figures alluded to by the President does not add up or reflect the actual oil related profile of the nation during the period and urged the President not to allow his handlers set him up for public ridicule.
“The entire country is aware that the Presidency is on a feverish mode over their bound-to-fail 2019 re-election bid for which they have resorted to making spurious claims against the PDP even when it is clear to Nigerians that the PDP has since rebranded while preponderance of those who mismanaged the nation’s resources have now found a safe haven in the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The party challenged President Buhari to name one corrupt person in the repositioned and rebranded PDP and it will hand him a list of an army of corrupt persons who are hiding in his APC including those who funded his 2015 presidential campaigns with stolen money in addition to his many cronies who are now frittering away billion of naira under his watch.
“We know that President Buhari did not source his figures, otherwise we would have directly taken him to task on the veracity of his claims and detestable image of his party. We however ask: is the President and his handlers not aware of the humongous corruption going on under the Buhari Presidency? What have they to say to the recent Transparency International (TI) report which shows that corruption has worsened under the Buhari administration? What have they to say about the official memo detailing shady oil deals to the tune of N9 trillion ($25 billion) at the NNPC which is directly under the purview of the President as minister of Petroleum resources?
“The Presidency is yet to address its complicity in the heavy sleazes in the National Health Insurance Scheme where billions of naira have allegedly been siphoned by their agents, in spite of the Treasury Single Account (TSA); the alleged diversion of N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil and the frittering of billions of naira meant for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons in the northeast, all to service APC interests?
“Nigerians are alarmed by the President’s claim that his administration inherited a collapsing economy when it is common knowledge that he was actually handed a thriving economy, ranked the third largest in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world,” the statement read in part.
The party also mocked President’s Buhari’s monetary policy, asking “Has Mr. President forgotten that when he assumed office in 2015, the value of our naira was N185 to 1USD? Nigerians are aware that the naira went as low as N510 to 1USD and in case Mr. President is not aware, Nigerians are also ridiculing his much touted strengthening of the naira.”