By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation has threatened to release more details on how the family members of President Muhammadu Buhari allegedly acquired Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank Plc.
The Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, while addressing a press conference Thursday in Abuja, declared that Buhari no longer has the moral standing to seek re-election until he directly answers its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on the revelation that the president has soiled his hands in the alleged corruption scandal.
Ologbondiyan challenged Buhari to explain how his family members came about the sum of N1.032 trillion for the scandalous acquisition.
He explained that it was not an issue for Buhari’s aides to howl about in the media, as it touches directly on the president’s person, particularly his perception as a symbol of the Talakawas, while also calling on him to address the issue.
Ologbondiyan stressed that Buhari should therefore not continue to dress himself in borrowed garb of integrity until he cleans himself of the stinking corruption of his acolytes, family and friends under his cover.
According to him, “It is a norm that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Buhari and his family members have entangled themselves in corruption. Mr. President’s hands can no longer be said to be clean, until he proves otherwise.”
Ologbondiyan stated categorically that Nigerians are not interested in mere rhetoric or attempts by the Buhari Presidency to divert public attention from the issue at hand, but demand that Buhari, who hitherto prides himself as Mr. Integrity, squarely addresses these grave issues in person.
He said: “Nigerians and the whole world should note that President Buhari’s refusal to personally address this matter means consent.
“We, therefore, dare President Buhari to put forth a denial on this disclosure by our candidate and we will spare no thoughts in furnishing the public with details of his corrupt activities within and outside Nigeria.
“Our party has full details of how persons related to President Buhari, by consanguinity and affinity, have been paved the way to loot trillions of naira from government agencies for corrupt acquisition of shares in major companies, purchase expensive property within and outside Nigeria, as well as to finance their very luxury lifestyles under Mr. President’s cover.
“In fact, no Nigerian has made more money in the last three and a half years than relations of President Buhari, many of whom have found themselves controlling stupendous wealth frittered from our economy, yet our President is asking Nigerians to get ready for more hardship in the coming year.
“Furthermore, our party is privy to the facts of how these relations of the President have been hounding government agencies, major business concerns and intending foreign investors over kickbacks as well as strangulating companies that refuse to accede to their demands.”
Ologbondiyan recalled how the Buhari Presidency muted the case of the aide of the First Lady, Mr. Baba-Inna, who was arrested in September this year over accusations of receiving N2.5 billion from politicians, businessmen and women on behalf of the first lady.
He said Nigerians could also recall how the Buhari Presidency gagged the confession of one Amina Mohammed, paraded by the Department of State Services (DSS), who stated in public that persons close to President Buhari were involved in the serial fraud and looting of public resources under the official cover of the Buhari Presidency.
He added: “In fact, there is incontrovertible evidence, as provided by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, that President Buhari is not as clean as his handlers want Nigerians to believe.
“In October 4, 2010, el-Rufai accused Buhari of corruption in allowing 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new in 1984.”
Ologbondiyan wondered why the president’s relatives continue to loot public treasury, and on the other hand asked Nigerians to prepare for more hardship next year.
In a related development, Ologbondiyan described Buhari’s desperate corruption attack on Atiku as a mere illusion.
He disclosed this in a statement Thursday in Abuja, where he said it was unfortunate that Buhari would resort to sponsoring fabrications and false allegations against Atiku just because he has been overwhelmed by Atiku’s soaring popularity and acceptance by Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan said: “Nigerians can also recall that on December 22, 2014, President Buhari in praising Atiku Abubakar’s immense business acumen, through which he provided employment opportunities for thousands of Nigerians, described him as an ‘inspiration’ and a man that has rendered ‘great service to Nigeria’.”
The PDP reminded Buhari that Atiku has never been charged, indicted nor convicted for any act of corruption by any competent authority whatsoever.
“Moreover, President Buhari has been in office for almost four years and has never found anything incriminatory on Atiku Abubakar that can warrant his prosecution despite being hounded under the Buhari administration,” he added.
Ologbondiyan noted that Mr. President needs to be reminded that even the Chairman of his Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, after their detailed scrutiny, announced that they found no evidence of corruption against Atiku and consequently absolved him of all allegations.
He also explained that the United States Department of Justice had, in response to enquiry by a leading Nigerian newspaper in November of 2016, stated that after scrutiny of public records, that there is no criminal case against Atiku contrary to fabrications being promoted by the Buhari Presidency.