PDP to APC: Apologise to Nigerians on the War against Boko Haram

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  •  Approval of $1 bn for war curious, alarming  Fayose: NGF’s support not unanimous

By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
 

Following the approval of $1 billion for the war against Boko Haram, to be taken from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday demanded that an apology be tendered to Nigerians by the All Progressives Congress-led federal government “for deceiving Nigerians on the state of war against Boko Haram.”

In a related development, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has denied being part of the 36 state governors that allegedly gave the federal government the go ahead to withdraw $1 billion from the ECA to fight Boko Haram in the North-east. 

While briefing State House correspondents at the end of the 83rd National Economic Council (NEC) meeting yesterday, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, stated that governors of the 36 states, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), had given the federal government the green light to withdraw $1 billion from the ECA to fight Boko Haram.

According to Obaseki, the governors mandated the federal government to take the money from the ECA as their own contribution to the fight against the Boko Haram.

The balance in ECA, as reported to the council by the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, was $2.317 billion as of December 13, 2017.

But the PDP said it was sad to note that long after the federal government claimed it had defeated Boko Haram, the administration had now turned back, seeking to commit a hooping $1 billion to the war.

It described the approval for the release of the $1 billion under the guise of fighting insurgency in the northeast as curious and alarming.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party was “alarmed by the manipulative plot by the APC administration to secure approvals without recourse to due process, and for purposes of fighting the same insurgents it claimed to have defeated.”

PDP also said that the development had rubbished the integrity of the current administration and demanded that it should apologise to Nigerians “for lying to them about the actual state of the fight against insurgency in Nigeria.”

Ologbondiyan said: “The PDP supports the fight against insurgency. We hold our officers and men confronting the terrorists and securing our territorial integrity in high esteem, but we are concerned about the manipulative tendencies connected with the approvals, as well as the veracity of the purpose of the fund.

“Nigerians would recall that the APC-led federal government had claimed that it has since defeated the insurgents.

“If it would take a billion dollar from a nation’s savings to kill what they long claimed was dead, then we challenge the APC government to come clean and tell Nigerians the whole truth.

“The era of lies and propaganda is long gone and Nigerians now know the truth. The federal government must be held accountable and stopped from any move to fritter away our national savings.

“We therefore call on the National Assembly to interrogate this proposed disbursement and subject it to a thorough but rapid interrogation.”

The PDP recalled that the three points upon which APC hinged their promise were security, corruption and economy, “and it is apparent that they have failed in all.”

Ologbondiyan said further: “On the economy, they have taken us into recession; on security, Boko Haram is still ravaging our people; on corruption, the APC government has only embarked on witch hunt of the opposition, while enmeshed in monumental corruption that is thriving unabated right inside the engine of its administration.”

The main opposition party vowed to ensure that the APC does not continue to play with the intelligence of Nigerians, “who are now only waiting for 2019 to consign them into the dustbin of history.”

Fayose: Approval of $1b withdrawal for insurgency war not unanimous

In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti, Fayose declared: “For posterity sake, I wish to place it on record that I was not among the governors who approved the withdrawal of almost half of our savings in the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government to fight an already defeated insurgency.” 

The Ekiti State governor alleged further that the planned withdrawal of $1 billion in the name of using it to fight Boko Haram, was a ploy by the APC-led federal government to fund President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019. 

Fayose said: “Since they said they have defeated Boko Haram, what else do they need a whopping sum of $1 billion (over N360 billion) for; if not to fund the 2019 elections? 

“The APC promised to wipe out Boko Haram within six months, now it is

31 months and what the APC government is wiping out is the economy of Nigeria and the means of livelihood of the people.” 

“Nigerians deserve proper explanation from the federal government on the rationale behind spending such huge sum of money to fight an already defeated Boko Haram.” 

He challenged the federal government to make available to Nigerians, information on how the money released by international donors for the fight against Boko Haram was spent, adding, “even the Transparency

International (TI) once said in its report that some top military officials in the country were feeding fat on the war against Boko Haram by creating fake contracts and laundering the proceeds in the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere.” 

The governor also alleged that the N50 billion kept by the Nigeria

National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in different commercial bank accounts outside the Treasury Single Account (TSA) was part of the fund being kept to fund President Buhari’s election in 2019. 

Fayose said: “Nigerians are alarmed by the revelation from the House of Representatives that President Buhari exempted NNPC from transferring N50 billion to the TSA. 

“Also, they are miffed by the federal government’s idea of withdrawing

$1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to fund an insurgency they said had been defeated. 

“They went on to tell Nigerians that the decision was taken by governors of the 36 states, whereas, it was solely the idea of the federal government, which they used the arranged National Executive Council meeting on Thursday in Abuja to achieve. 

“The question is, how can the federal government alone spend almost half of the Excess Crude money that belongs to the three tiers of government (i.e. federal government, states and local governments)? 

“The reality is that our treasury is daily being looted in readiness for the 2019 elections. Nigerians are therefore alerted to these lootings by the APC-led federal government to amass huge fund for the 2019 elections under the pretense of fighting insurgency in the Northeast, as well as other dubious means.”

  • Moon

    How did they come up with $1 billion dollars?
    What type of ammunition did they need to add up to the once already have?
    Is Excess Crude Account ATM machine to governors?
    Is the governors have right to dig they hands in the treasure without senate approval?
    What is going on here I am confused?

  • Rick Eson

    Is PDP contesting to becoming ruling party? that will be bad news for our Nation. Under PDP Boko Haram has so many part of the north under their control. Our Soldiers fire power were no match to BoKo haram. Thousands of our citizen lost their live murder like chicken creating huge orphan.
    Under PDP the nation fund goes to another country benefitting those Nation, depriving our Nation essential fund to carry out infrastructure development, creating huge unemployment and suffering to the masses.
    PDP is yet to appologise to the Nation for their action, yet they want APC to appologise about BOKO. PDP completely lost the plot.

  • Ify Onabu

    If the Mullah’s government claim they have defeated Boko Haram, what do they need $1 billion for? To celebrate their ‘victory’ over Boko Haram? Shame of a nation!

    • Ade Whenu

      Perhaps to ensure Boko Haram stays defeated! Anyone who thinks you can defeat the evil ideology Boko Haram subscribe to by military might only, must be deluded.

      You need to engage the victims, educate and support them and all cost money. I am not excusing or defending Buhari, as he has failed woefully in my opinion. I am simply highlighting the need to keep the heat on those devilish bastards called Boko Haram.

      • Toby

        But your president said defeated.

        • Ade Whenu

          During the Iraq, war from when George Bush declared victory, over 4000 Iraq’s lost their life’s in the aftermath. I do not get bogged down with narratives, but reality.

          The bottom line is we cannot play politics with a devilish group like Boko Haram and herdsmen. They have to be defeated at all cost.

          So if Buhari based on intelligence assessment, arrive at the conclusion, Boko Haram is not defeated, are you suggesting he should ignore them and let them continue to kill innocent people?

          I will conclude they should not compromise when it comes to terrorism.

          • Toby

            Because Bush hastily and mistakenly declared victory years ago, then your Buhari is permitted to make same mistake or deception for political gain? Please give me a break!

          • Ade Whenu

            Unfortunately our perspective on this subject is bipolar. I am saying Boko Haram, like any other terrorist organisation has to be defeated at any cost.

            You are more preoccupied with Buhari. You hate him so much, that all sense of reason is not applied.

            I respectfully apologies for any use of words, that might be misconstrued as an insult, so you do not inadvertently conclude I am insulting you. As I am absolutely not.

            How many times as human beings have we committed to a position and then changed our minds in view of new development?

  • PRIME MINISTER

    One thing is clearer every day: Buhari is not different from any other past leader. This govt has repeated all that PDP govt was sacked for.
    And more… They have continued to rule with lies and propaganda. This I feel is unbearable, lying to the people!

    • Emmanuel Adama

      My friends have returned back to Borno state to re arrange their lives now; unlike the carelessness of the past administration that led to death of 2 young men in their family through the knife of BQKO HARAM. PDP should stop playing with life of people.

      • PRIME MINISTER

        If your friends have returned to borno, that means the war over boko haram has been won! SO WHAT IS $1B GOING TO BE USED FOR…2019 ELECTION?
        So what are you knock PDP for and praising APC for?
        I think it makes no sense to blame PDP for the death of NE people and leave out the NE people who formed, joined and operated boko haram.

        • austin

          Logical reasoning. You can’t have it both ways.
          Boko Haram defeated, no need for $1billion
          Boko Haram not defeated, need for $1billion

          • Ade Whenu

            Using the same logic you eluded to, defeated Boko Haram, is not synonymous with need for $1billion to fight Boko Haram!

            Where in the world have you seen a terrorist ideology defeated completely by military means only?

            You can curtail them military in the short term, but without an integrated policy of educating people and addressing the economic, political and social symptoms that feeds the ideology, they will never be defeated.

            Even when Buhari is long gone, future leaders will ask for billions more.

          • austin

            Then we is in trouble (acc to the americans). However the mentioned operations of integrated policy of educating people should have been an item in the budget as operational expenses and not a sudden executive decision as if the war just started afresh.

      • Victor

        You really need to start thinking very well before you speak/comment. If your friends are back home, that simply means there is absolute peace and Boko haram completely defeated. Tell me therefore what your almighty Buhari/APC government needs $1 billion for?. Shame on you.

      • yukkmouff

        And who takes the blame for the death of over 50 NNPC staff killed in Borno state last July?!

      • William Norris

        Boko Haram was created by Buhari, Tinubu & APC to drive Jonathan from power.

        http://www.nairaland.com/2061360/attack-bokoharam-attack-north

        https://www.google.com/search?q=tinubu+and+buhari+amnesty+for+boko+haram&oq=tinubu+and+buhari+amnesty+for+boko+haram&aqs=chrome..69i57.21320j0j4&client=ms-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

      • Tony Ezeifedi

        By 2015, before d elections, boko Haram had been contained that was why elections held in those areas. APC should stop all these nonsensical lies.