Juliet Akoje in Abuja.
A coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups, has cautioned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Nigeria electorate to be mindful of the presidential aspiration of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, because he simply wanted immunity against plausible prosecution after the 2023 elections.
The Arewa group at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, insisted that Osinbajo was contesting for president to continue enjoying immunity against prosecution, after 2023.
Convener of the group, Comrade Musa Attah, while briefing Journalists, alleged that the vice-president mismanaged funds under his control and office, for various social intervention programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“The leadership of the Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups welcomes you all to this significant press conference, which has become a child of necessity, given the recent clamour for the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to vie for the highest political office in the country.
“As a group representing a vast interest of critical stakeholders in northern Nigeria, and some other parts of the country, we are constrained to lend our voice to an ambition we consider misplaced and against the interest of the generality of Nigerians, in our quest for sustainable growth and development.
“The presidential aspiration of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo does not suit the purpose, given his track record in the mismanagement of the various Social Intervention Programmes of the federal government hitherto domiciled in his office, before the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“It is instructive to ask questions about how Vice President Yemi Osinbajo managed the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP), intended to tackle poverty and hunger across the country.
“For the records, the suite of programmes under the NSIP focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women, under the supervision of the Office of the Vice President.
“The N-Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme and the Tradermoni Empowerment Scheme, were all intended to bring succour to the vulnerable groups in the country.
“Therefore, it is curious how such laudable initiatives were mismanaged by the Office of the Vice President, which warranted the President to create a new ministry and transferred the responsibility of managing these programmes to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“What Nigerians might be aware of is that, under the supervision of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Social Intervention Programmes became an avenue for corrupt enrichment by the Vice President and his cronies. They diverted funds meant for the vulnerable groups to private pockets.
“The heist committed by the Vice President and his cronies in implementing the programmes is quite despicable and a shame, given the multitude of evidence pointing to gross mismanagement and abuse of office.
“Therefore, it is unimaginable for the Vice President to indicate interest to rule this country. The implication of a Yemi Osinbajo’s presidency in Nigeria is that, the country’s resources would be diverted to private pockets most brazenly, as we saw in the NSIP.
“It, therefore, amounts to an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians for Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to want to lead Nigeria. He lacks morals and uprightness, as evident in his corrupt tendencies and lack of sincerity of heart and purpose.
“At this point, we are tempted to state in unequivocal terms that the attempt by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to seek the highest political office in the county is an attempt to shield himself from the probe after the expiration of his immunity,” the statement stated.