Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Apology: Return What You Have Stolen In 16 Years - APC Tells PDP


The Federal Government has asked the Peoples Democratic Party to go the whole hog with its apology to Nigerians by returning all the alleged funds looted from the public treasury under its watch during its 16 years in power. In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also challenged the party to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of attitude.

But the PDP said it did not loot any public fund, saying the APC was the party that used looted funds from some states to sponsor the presidential election in 2015. Mohammed's reaction followed the apology made by the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, at the party's function in Abuja on Monday, where he asked Nigerians to forgive the party.

He said the party made mistakes in the past with the way it handled its internal affairs like imposition of candidates and impunity among its leaders. However, Mohammed said such apology was not enough. He said, 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. Anything short of that is mere deceit. "Even with the paucity of funds, this administration has spent an unprecedented amount of money on infrastructural development and Social Investment Programme, among others. Returning looted funds will provide more money for these programmes and make life more meaningful for Nigerians. There is no better apology than that.”

Mohammed also reminded the PDP of the quote: "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging, saying it applies to the PDP at this time. He said, "The 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.”But reacting, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday, said there was no evidence of the alleged looting by the PDP.

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.

It added, “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.

"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.

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