By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to fleece Nigerians through the extortion of N1.2 billion from poor beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, to fund Mr. President’s 2019 re-election bid.
The PDP, in a statement Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, strongly condemned such acts of corruption, particularly the attempt by the Presidency to draw financial kickback from poor beneficiaries of the Anchor Borrower’s Programme in violation of our financial regulations.
He stated: “Information at our disposal also reveals that the Anchor Borrower’s scandal is yet another scheme by the Buhari Presidency to siphon public funds and surreptitiously route same to Mr. President’s campaign.
“To achieve this ignoble scheme, the Buhari Presidency and the APC shamefully constituted a phony Anchor Borrowers Farmers’ Association, which they claimed has 12 million members, and through which they plan to siphon and launder money from public coffers to fund President Buhari’s campaign.
“Our check reveals that no such association exists and that the membership figure is just a ruse, another fabrication and attempt at procurement of fake endorsement by the Buhari Presidency, to create an impression that Nigerians are supporting President Buhari and the APC.”
The main opposition party also challenged Buhari to speak out on the alleged fleecing of Nigerians to the tune of N2.6 trillion through hidden illegal N48 tax per litre of petrol, which it said motorists in the country have been bearing since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidised cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidised cost of N145.
Ologbondiyan said investigation has also revealed how the Buhari Presidency has been secretly diverting huge part of various social intervention funds to the Buhari campaign while handing paltry sums to Nigerians.
He noted: “This is in addition to how agents of the Presidency carrying out APC’s vote buying project, particularly the Trader-moni scheme, have been illegally collecting 10 per cent kickback from beneficiaries.
“Now that Nigerians have refused to contribute to Mr. President’s re-election bid, due to his failure in office, the Buhari Presidency and the APC are seeking ways to legitimise their stealing of public funds to finance their campaign and service the wasteful lifestyles of their leaders.”
The PDP therefore challenged Buhari to speak out and not continue to feign ignorance of these allegations bordering directly on corruption in his Presidency.
The party said that the president should know that keeping quiet would not help him.