Monday 22 July 2019

PDP, Presidency clash over $1bn ECA spending

The Peoples Democratic Party has raised the alarm that agents of Muhammadu Buhari

presidency and the All Progressives Congress have allegedly siphoned $1bn from the Excess Crude Account.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Sunday also said the agents were allegedly hiding under the guise of security to perpetuate the act.

He therefore urged Buhari to explain to Nigerians the whereabouts of the money.

According to him, it was shocking, the confession of the National Security Adviser, Gen. Babagana Mongunu (retd.), that he was not aware of the whereabouts or disbursement of the $1bn drawn from the ECA by the Muhammadu Buhari presidency in 2017 for security purposes.

He added that the confession by the NSA, who coordinates the security architecture of the nation, directly placed a huge burden on Buhari’s doorsteps over reported stealing and diversion of funds meant for security, while insurgency, banditry, killings and kidnapping fester under his watch.

He said, “It further validates the stance of the PDP that agents of the Buhari presidency and the APC were hiding under the guise of security to siphon the $1bn from the ECA.”

According to him, this is especially as there are allegations in the public space that certain funds meant for security were diverted for 2019 campaigns of the APC at the expense of the nation’s troops at the war front.

Ologbondiyan said, “The  PDP invites Nigerians to note that such diversion of funds under the Buhari administration led to the articulation of a blueprint by Atiku Abubakar for a transparent system that eliminates siphoning of funds, particularly in our critical sectors.”

PDP speaking rubbish –Presidency

The Presidency, however, described as “rubbish” the PDP allegation, saying the party was suffering from “socio-emotional distress.”

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the Presidency noted that the PDP thought “all governments in the world run on the basis of free-wheeling looting as they did their (PDP’s government) own.”

It said, “It is on record that the Buhari administration paid about $490m for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no contractors or commission agents) transaction with government of the United States.

“Other military procurement has been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about $880m.”

The Presidency alleged that since the PDP spent defence procurement funds on the 2015 general elections, the thinking was that the APC and Buhari did the same thing in 2019.

“The PDP spent defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari, will do the same,” it said.

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