Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to publicly declare their assets as proof to Nigerians and the world that they were not corrupt and had been leading Nigeria by example.
The main opposition party also asked the newly elected President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to make public their assets in order to convince Nigerians that they were indeed partners in the fight against corruption.
A statement by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Diran Odeyemi, made available to newsmen, said “The Code of Conduct Bureau had all the while, insisted that it could not release details of assets of the President and other top officials without their consent.
“The party therefore called on all high-ranking political office holders to waive the caveat placed on the Code of Conduct Bureau and make their assets known to Nigerians.
“PDP recalled that if former Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen currently facing prosecution could be made to face prosecution for not declaring in full his asset, other top government officials should also submit themselves for public scrutiny through public declaration of what they own as asset.”
The party, however, queried the tardiness of President Buhari in subsequently directing CCB to release details of his assets in 2015 and now, 2019 for proper scrutiny to convince Nigerians that he was not corrupt and therefore capable of fighting corruption.
The statement reads in parts, “We are of the opinion that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila should declare openly their assets to allow Nigerians to further see how much wealth they have acquired since joining government.
“We believe laying claim to sainthood is easy as President Buhari and others have been doing all along, but Nigerians deserve to see beyond whatever government forces down their throats. By making public declaration of their assets, Nigerians will be able to see better and judge accordingly.
“By making public their assets, Nigerians will see how many heads of cattle have been added to what President Buhari had 2019. Blowing hot and cold at the same time is not the hallmark of a leader with clean hands.”
The party then warned that should the President and others fail to make public declaration of their assets, further aspersions would be cast on the anti-graft efforts of the present administration.
It alleged that rather than build on several innovations to end graft which was introduced by PDP administrations President Buhari appears directionless and uncoordinated to stop corruption in the country.
“We urge President Buhari and other top government officials to be more coordinated and exhibit transparency not only in fighting graft but in their dealings with Nigerians, because, no matter how fast lies have moved, in a flight, truth will catch up,” PDP concluded.