Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that rather than focusing on how to ‘corner’ the 2023 presidential ticket, himself along with other PDP leaders should find the courage to return the country’s stolen resources and seek forgiveness from Nigerians
The National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement issued yesterday, said that the return of the country’s ‘stolen resources’ and sincere apologies for the havoc wrecked on the country during PDP’s 16-year rule should be the preoccupation of PDP.
He said the ruling party offers this as a new year counseling to Atiku following his tongue-in-cheek advice to his party, urging them to concentrate on strengthening and rebuilding the PDP for now, rather that dissipating energy on the 2023 elections.
Issa-Onilu noted that the former PDP presidential candidate was anything but sincere in his advice.
He stated: “Atiku and the PDP represent the wasted past, which Nigerians have chosen to discard and correct. The era when national assets were a bazaar for cronies and friends; an era when funds were approved and released for projects that were never executed; an era of waste and impunity; an era of voodoo economy; an era when corruption was a state policy.
“Post-election, Atiku has been afforded an opportunity to defend himself on the several corruption and criminal indictments that have troubled him in his serial presidential election contests, particularly during the 2019 presidential election. Atiku has rather continued to play the ostrich.
“Instead of Atiku focusing on how to corner the 2023 presidential ticket of the PDP or any of the other political parties where he may choose to purchase his ticket, we call on Atiku, along with other PDP leaders to find the courage to return our resources and seek forgiveness from Nigerians.”
Issa-Onilu stressed that Nigerians now enjoy a new dispensation, which has ensured massive infrastructural development covering the rail, road, agriculture, aviation, ports, education and health sectors.
He added that the resolute and pro-people intervention by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has ensured the plunging of revenue leakages, oil sector reforms, anti-corruption policies, economic diversification, rapid infrastructure development, intensification of fight against violent extremism, among others.
The party spokesman said that while the ongoing diversification efforts have recorded great successes particularly in the agricultural sector, oil sector reforms have been landmark.
Issa-Onilu stated that fuel queues have vanished, cross-border smuggling of petroleum products, the subsidy racket and round-tripping by oil marketers, which were all perfected under successive PDP administrations have been checked.
He said that in the fight against public sector corruption, the recently-launched Open Treasury Portal (OTP) complements previous initiatives such as the administration’s full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which has increased the level of accountability and transparency in the financial resources of the government.
He noted further that TSA has also put an end to budget padding, contrary to what the country witnessed throughout the 16 years of the PDP and pruning out thousands of ghost workers through stricter implementation of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).