The All Progressives Congress (APC) government and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Friday, resumed their battle over the issue of the looting of Nigeria’s treasury.
The APC-led Federal Government fired the first salvo by accusing PDP of being insincere with its recent letter of apology it wrote to Nigerians.
According to Shehu Garba, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity in a release, “Nigerians must be cautious of the “less-than-honest apology offered by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus.
“The point made by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is apt and on cue, that there are heavy moral duties that go with apologies if the culprits want to be taken seriously.
“The PDP is desperate to recapture power because it no longer has unhindered access to national resources for private uses and its apology should be seen in this context.
“The PDP has not even acknowledged the fact that it plundered the national economy, and for a party that dismissed the anti-corruption war as a political witch hunt, it is impossible to believe that its public apology comes from the bottom of the heart.
“Even desperate thieves apologize because they are caught and not because they are incapable of repeating the crime if they had another opportunity.
We believe that the PDP should not only apologize for the imposition of candidates, and the culture of impunity, but must also come clean and acknowledge that they participated in large scale corruption and massive diversions of public funds to private pockets while poverty was ravaging the ordinary Nigerians.
“We challenge individual PDP leaders to publicly and voluntarily tell Nigerians how much they stole and then agree to cough up their illegal acquisitions of wealth if they want their apology to be taken seriously.
Apology borne by desperation to recapture power without a desire to admit how much they stole and the reluctance to return the loot is morally hollow. ‘This goes beyond rebranding. Nigerians are not interested in brands. They want their money back.
“For such apology to gain acceptance, the offenders must first of all show remorse; then return that which was unlawfully taken or restore the damage caused the nation; and commit to never doing the wrong they did again. The “PDP has done none of these for them to be taken seriously by anyone.
Instead of addressing this cogent issue raised by the Minister, the PDP veered off to accuse this administration of borrowing money but failed, in that regard to admit that they borrowed to steal while Buhari administration is borrowing to set up long-delayed infrastructure.
“They accused the President of unevenness, of inflaming ethnic and religious tensions, when it is on record that they gave this country its divisive president who chose the hallowed premises of places of worship to read important national statements.
“President Buhari never fails in his duty as the Chief Security Officer of the nation. He acts fast whenever and wherever there are incidents by ordering law-enforcement agencies to do their job and fact-finding mission to give him actionable reports.
“PDP’s uncaring attitude to these matters, including the kidnapping of 270 girls from Chibok is the hallmark of the long years of misrule.
“Another issue of moral and political significance is about the recent disclosure by US investigators that the PDP government engaged in massive data theft that included the hacking of Candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s personal data before the last general elections. PDP’s continued silence on this reprehensible heist only goes to confirm their remorselessness even as more and more facts are emerging that the same unfair method was the modus operandi that they used to capture political power in the 2017 elections.
However, in a swift reaction, PDP said the ruling APC has ‘spirit of vengeance’ adding that the ruling party also has the spirit of bitterness and that such is responsible for the economic dryness, divisiveness and hostility in the nation under their watch.
This is just as the party has advised the Presidency to direct its demand for refund of stolen funds to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC, as those responsible for looting are now in the APC where they enjoy the protection of the President.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Friday, said the APC and the Presidency have been trying to transfer their vile spirit of vengeance to Nigerians, as manifested in their refusal to let go, even after the citizens have accepted PDP’s apology, which were made in the overall interest of national healing, renewal and reconciliation.
“The Presidency and the APC do not have the spirit of forgiveness. They believe that they must take revenge on everything. This is why they are going about hounding everybody perceived to hold opinions that are contrary to their interest.
“This explains why they have continued to keep people like the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in detention, even after he has been granted bail by the courts.
“That is why they are after figures like Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu as well as politicians perceived to be interested in the 2019 Presidential elections.
“The fact however is that Nigerians have seen through their vile tendencies and have abandoned them in their vengeance seeking ventures.
“Moreover, it is incongruous and shameful that the Presidency and APC are still engaging in their hypocritical media trial of asking the PDP to refund alleged looted funds, when the world is aware that those who looted the economy are all in the APC where they have become the poster faces of President Buhari and his discredited party.
“While we restate our challenge to the Presidency to name any individual in the repositioned PDP indicted for looting public fund, we make bold to state that in President Buhari’s cabinet are former APC governors indicted by their states for looting funds belonging to the people, bulk of which were used to finance the President’s 2015 campaign.
“We also have the list of prominent individuals, who were indicted of looting but have since crossed over to the APC where they are now provided cover by the Buhari administration.
“We assert boldly that the PDP has never been convicted or indicted for corruption and that there is no individual in the rebranded PDP who is indicted of looting public funds.
“We challenged the APC and the Presidency to make similar claim or keep quiet and hide their faces in shame.
“If not, we will no longer hesitate to go public with the list of indicted individuals in their fold who looted their state resources and deployed such funds to Buhari 2015 Campaign.
Packaged by Alice Egbedele