Nseobong Okon-Ekong writes that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has carried the stigma of alleged corruption for a long time has finally found the courage to fight his opponents
Nigeria’s two major political parties have been at each other’s throat over allegations of corruption, hurled from one group at the other. For a long time, former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was on the receiving end of these accusations. Abubakar has struggled to defend himself, often saying that speculations that his acclaimed wealth accrued from underhand transactions could not be substantiated. This did not deter his traducers. They only became bolder. But it looks like the period when Abubakar was presented as the poster boy of corruption in Nigeria is over.
The PDP Presidential candidate has now taken the fight to his opponents. The public communication arm of his campaign organization has released a catalogue of personalities who are President Muhammadu Buhari’s allies and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose image are smeared with evidence of dirty monetary deal. The document is aptly branded, ‘President Muhammadu Buhari’s Hall of Shame.’
Chronicling the alleged wrong doings of these individuals, the publication is targeted at stirring the public towards probing the supposed integrity of Buhari. If his party, the APC has become a ‘next of corrupt politicians’, then members of the APC carry a moral burden that cannot allow them to point accusing fingers at another allegedly corrupt person.
The Hall of Shame document posited that the Buhari administration was only chasing shadows by trying to drag Atiku Abubakar into the mud, which has now become the natural habitat of APC top leaders.
“President Buhari and his APC are criminal enablers and harborers of looters of our collective patrimony and this document “Buhari’s Hall Of Shame” is a scorecard of failure, incompetence, nepotism and a President’s proclivity to harbouring indicted and other famed thieves of our patrimony.
“Recall that, the former acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda, in a sworn testimony to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, revealed that President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet comprising Abba Kyari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe, had pressured him to share the $44 million Ikoyi millions.
After giving his sworn evidence, Ambassador Dauda was dismissed and has now gone underground. This is President Buhari’s style of fighting corruption.
“The hawks seem to have finally convinced Buhari to frame Atiku in some bogus N156million alleged scam, which they claimed is responsible for the collapse of Bank PHB. Assuming but not conceding that this allegation is correct, can N156million Naira collapse a bank with a reserve portfolio in excess of N25bn? But Nigerians are wiser and I am sure, would resist any devilish plot by some APC crooks who believe that it is either the President wins reelection or our democracy is truncated,” Atiku said.
“By this latest allegation of the Federal Government through the office of the Minister Of Information, it is clear that the responsibility of AMCON has been appropriated. In appropriating the responsibility of AMCON. It is therefore no more a matter of speculation that Buhari and his family members are the new owners of Keystone Bank (Former BankPHB)”.
The former Vice President then asked what the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was doing before now when it refused to name Atiku as one of those behind the collapse until now that the leaders of APC see that he is just a few days from becoming Nigeria’s president, and wondered whether the revelation was at the instance of the new owners.
“Why was Atiku’s name not mentioned when Bank PHB collapsed? Is it because the APC and its goons know that they will be defeated in next month’s election? Or is the APC government acting on behalf of Buhari’s family who are reportedly the new owners of the bank?” he asked.
The former VP describes the Bank PHB story as diversionary and a calculated attempt to divert the attention of Nigerians from the failure of the APC government to deliver the dividends of democracy.
”Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars who wait with bated breath for FG’s monthly N5,000 handout aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections.
”Talking of infrastructure, despite an ‘investment’ of over N1trillion by the Buhari-led APC administration in infrastructure, the nation’s roads have become death traps and power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 mega watts PDP left in 2015 to less than 3,500 mega watts even though Buhari’s handlers consistently claim that 7,000 mega watts is what is currently being generated,” he said.
Some of the leading members of the APC fingered by Abubakar include the chairman of the ruling party and former governor of Edo State, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State, the President’s chief of staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari, former secretary to the federal government, Mr. Babachir Lawal, chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Minister of state for Transportation (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika and the president’s wife, Hajia Aisha Buhari,
Over 28 individuals and corporate organizations are named in the document. Many of the cases are already celebrated in the public space and include those linked to the Dasuki arms deal, the Ikoyi flat cash scandal, the pension fund fraud, NEMA fraud charge, the NNPC scam and the Ganduje bribe video among others