APC, PDP clash over apology, looted funds

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the apology tendered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Nigerians by asking the party to return all the alleged looted funds from the public treasury under its watch during its 16 years in power as a sign of penitence.

It would be recalled that PDP’s national chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus had apologized to Nigerians for the party’s mistakes which resulted in its defeat at the polls in 2015.

But in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, the minister of information and culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, challenged the PDP to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of attitude.

“The PDP presided over an unprecedented looting of the public treasury, perhaps the worst of its kind in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world.

“Therefore, the best evidence of penitence for such a party is not just to own up and apologise, but to also return the looted funds as anything short of that is mere deceit,” said Mohammed.

The minister said with the paucity of funds, the administration had spent an unprecedented amount of money on infrastructural development and social investment programme, among others.

He added that returning looted funds would provide more money for the programmes and make life more meaningful for Nigerians.

He called on the party to stop sabotaging the work of the APC-led federal government, which is packing the mess the PDP left behind.

“PDP, press the reset button. Stop sabotaging the work of this administration, which is packing the mess you left behind, through your reckless statements and unfounded allegations.

“Play responsible opposition politics. Put Nigeria’s interest over and above partisan interest.

“Temper your desperation to return to power. Spend quality time in the purgatory and you will be forgiven,” he said.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, also said the nation accepted the apologies, but added that “even if Nigerians are gracious enough to forgive, they will not forget in a hurry.”

He stated that while the APC joins PDP in praying to God to forgive them pointing out that “Nigerians are human who are still suffering from the years of PDP’s misrule.”

However, the PDP has advised APC and the federal government to stop being sanctimonious about corruption as the election campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 was allegedly financed with stolen funds.

It said APC and the federal government cannot continue to play the saints when state governors, who allegedly diverted hundreds of billions of naira meant for the development of their states to fund Buhari’s election in 2015, were still enjoying cover as members of Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, despite outrage from Nigerians.

PDP’s national publicity secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday said there was no evidence that the PDP, as a party, looted any public fund while in office.

He recalled that prior to the 2015 election, Buhari had informed Nigerians that he was insolvent, but expressed surprise that Buhari enjoyed one of the most expensive presidential campaigns in the history of the country.

Ologbondiyan said those who “stole hundreds of billions of naira” were being protected by the Buhari administration.

“The APC and its federal government cannot continue to play the saints when state governors who stole hundreds of billions of naira meant for the development of their states to fund President Buhari in 2015, are still enjoying cover as members of the Buhari kitchen cabinet, despite outrage from Nigerians,” the statement read.

“There is no evidence that the PDP, as a party, looted any public funds. The APC and President Buhari campaigned for the 2015 presidential election with looted billions of naira meant for the provision of essential amenities for ordinary Nigerians.

“The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, misfired in his outburst that the PDP should return alleged looted funds when the only party known to have used looted funds has always been the APC.

“It is, to say the least, despicable that the APC and its federal government, in their arrogance, would always try to play the saint when they were elected with stolen funds and have continued to reek with filth and sleaze.

“Indeed, if there is any party that should refund looted funds, it is the APC, which directly used stolen money to scheme in the election of President Buhari in 2015, while known culpable persons now sit comfortably around the presidential table, still superintending over the looting of our common patrimony.

“Nigerians are aware that prior to the 2015 elections, President Buhari had informed that he was insolvent. He, however, took Nigerians by surprise as he enjoyed one of the most expensive presidential campaigns in the history of our nation, while turning a blind eye to reports of massive looting of funds from the APC controlled states,” he said.

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