APC, PDP Trade Words over Alleged $2.5bn Arms Scandal

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Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday traded words over an allegation by the main opposition party that officials in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari were involved in a fresh $2.5 billion arms scandal.

PDP yesterday alleged that the revelation of another $2.5billion arms purchase scandal in which officials of the Buhari-led APC administration were named is another ugly testament of the stench of corruption oozing out from the Presidency and the APC, as a party.

The PDP called on the National Assembly as a matter of urgency to conduct an open and joint investigation into the arms deal.

The party said that with this fresh $2.5 billion arms scandal, reportedly involving the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), who had earlier revealed that $1 billion also for arms cannot be traced, an alarming $3.5 billion meant for purchase of weapons to secure Nigeria under the Buhari administration has been looted.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan stressed that the exposed bare-faced contract scam in the $2.5 billion scandal as well as the outright disappearance of the $1billion as earlier revealed by the NSA, showed the level of corruption and unscrupulousness among APC leaders and their agents, who are stealing funds meant for arms while the citizens are daily marauded, pillaged and murdered by terrorists, bandits and kidnappers.

“It is more distressing that instead of standing on the side of the people to demand for a clean-up of the system and recovery of the stolen funds, the APC, as a party, is rather desperate to justify acts of corruption, because its leaders and officials of its government are involved”.

But the APC, in a swift reaction, described the allegation of $2.5 billion arms scandal as unfounded.

The National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in a statement issued yesterday said it was increasingly clear that only the PDP believes its deviant tales.

He said, “Our earlier statement on the unfounded and baseless corruption allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stands.

“It is increasingly clear that only the PDP believes its deviant tales. Under President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has left the disgraceful PDP era where corruption was an established and institutionalised statecraft.”

The ruling party expressed the hope that the PDP could wake up to its responsibility of providing a viable opposition, which the country’s democracy needs, instead of engaging Nigerians with roadside fictional tales.