Publish Your Spending, PDP Challenges Presidency

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* Urges APC to account for N40bn allegedly withdrawn from FIRS

* Allegation baseless, says APC

Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday challenged the President Muhammadu Buhari government to lead by example by publishing details of its spending and financial transactions as an impetus to enforce its financial reporting directives on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The main opposition party also called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to come clean on revelations in the public space that the N40 billion taxpayers’ money allegedly siphoned from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) was used to finance its 2019 election campaigns.

But in a swift response, the APC described the statement from the PDP alleging that the sum of N40 billion was released to the party by the FIRS to prosecute the 2019 election political campaigns as hogwash and baseless.

The PDP in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, also tasked the presidency to publish details, including the beneficiaries, the purpose and the amount of each payment, in line with the presidential directive to the MDAs.

The PDP said it is not enough for Buhari to issue spending directives to MDAs without his presidency, which received billions of naira in budgetary allocation, leading by example.

According to the PDP, “Nigerians deserve to know how much is allocated to the presidency; the various expenditure subheads, process of award of contracts, the contractors, the beneficiaries, amounts paid and the payment system.

“Perhaps such would explain why certain individuals who are close to the presidency live in ostentatious opulence and flaunt very expensive lifestyle in the same country where millions of citizens wallow in abject poverty, hunger, homelessness and disease.”

The PDP alleged in the statement that there are several ‘ugly scenarios around the presidency, including the arrest in October of a suspected scammer, Abdulrauf Illyasu’, who even enjoyed an office accommodation within the safety and cover of the presidential villa.

This, the party said, was in addition to the arrest of a said confidant of the president, Nasir Danu, at Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom, for alleged international passport scam and money laundering while allegedly ferrying currencies for persons said to be close to the presidency.

Meanwhile, the PDP has called on the APC to come clean on revelations in the public that the N40 billion taxpayers’ money allegedly siphoned from the FIRS was used to finance its 2019 election campaigns.

The party said in a statement by Ologbondiyan that the revelation, which has reportedly unsettled certain persons in the Buhari presidency, has further exposed the APC as a decadent lot and a gathering of treasury looters who thrive in cheating and deceit at a very high level.

Meanwhile, the APC has described the statement from the PDP alleging that the sum of N40 billion was released to the party by the FIRS to prosecute the 2019 election political campaigns as hogwash and baseless.