The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Cam paign Organization (PPCO) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of diverting N1.032 trillion meant to purchase arms for soldiers fighting terrorists in the North-East to buy Keystone Bank and 9Mobile.
The Presidency has challenged the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to bring out evidence to back up their claims.
Also, the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) accused the PDP and its presidential candidate of peddling falsehood over the purported acquisition of Keystone Bank and Etisalat (9Mobile) by members of the Buhari family.
Director, Media and Publicity of PDP Presidential Council, Kola Ologbondiyan, at a press conference yesterday, called on INERPOL, Department of State Services (DSS), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the alleged diversion of military funds by Buhari’s family.
“We call for an urgent investigation into the alleged link between the reportedly diverted military funds and the N1.032 trillion said to have been used by President Muhammadu Buhari’s family members for corrupt acquisition in 9Mobile Nigeria and Keystone Bank Plc.,” Ologbondiyan said.
He stated that investigation has become imperative following President Buhari’s failure to directly speak out on the allegations against his family members, as well as explain how they came about the sum of N1.032 trillion for the alleged acquisition.
“We make this demand in view of public insinuations that the money may have been sourced from funds meant for the purchase of weapons for our soldiers.
“More so, the presidency has blatantly refused to respond to allegations that military fund is being used to finance President Buhari’s re-election campaign, which even manifested in the use of military resources to produce APC’s campaign materials, including an electronic memento book by the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali,” he added.
According to him, the president, on two occasions, had opportunities to offer explanations, which he failed to do.
Number one, he stated, was at the launch of his campaign rally in Akwa Ibom State, as well as during his New Year message to Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan expressed worry at the disturbing videos of Nigerians soldiers languishing and some being killed by insurgents due to neglect and failure of the Buhari administration to adequately equip them in the fronts.
“This should not be the way to go for our nation. Our soldiers are brave and have continued to show the highest form of professionalism and unmatched patriotism in risking and laying down their lives in defence of fatherland.
“Therefore, any action by anybody that is capable of reducing their morale in the fronts must never be allowed,” he said.
But speaking yesterday on Channels TV programme, Politics Today, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina stated that on account that PDP looted the treasury while in government, it assumes that the President would do same.
Adesina said: “The allegation is not even worth responding to. During the PDP reign, no money was sacred; Excess Crude Account, they looted it; Federation Account, they looted it; Central Bank, they looted it; Foreign reserve, they looted it. No money was sacred; they could steal anything.
“In fact, it is a miracle that the entire country was not completely looted before they left. And that is why they now think that every government is going to be like them.
“Last week, they threatened to bring evidence to support their allegations, why have they not brought it? I think it was not even worth responding to because it shows that they were idle. If they were not idle, they will come out with evidence and show Nigerians.
“No, if they bring evidence to back what they are saying, then the onus is on the president himself to respond. But when the allegations are wild like they are, then the best thing is just to ignore them. And you said Nigerians want an answer; I don’t think so. Nigerians know the PDP for what they are; idle people.”
On allegation that funds meant for military in the fight against insurgency are diverted, Adesina said: “Again, we know that $2.1 billion was diverted under the PDP; money meant for arms and ammunition. So, they have a throwback at the past. They are thinking that because it happened under them, it can happen under anybody. But they missed it, not under this present administration.”
Also, Director, Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) said that given the rebuttal by the investors in Etisalat and Keystone Bank that the family members of President Buhari have nothing to do with both companies, the PDP ought to have known that the information was fake.
Keyamo said that the bid by the opposition party and its presidential candidate to continue on the path of false allegations was an indication that the PDP Presidential Campaign was fast collapsing.
“The result of the fact-check which was published in some news outlets clearly shows the depth of desperation, deceit and debauchery to which the Atiku campaign has sunk. They have no moral compass, no scruples, no direction in their present attempt to smear just everyone in sight in order to run a campaign of ‘we-are-all-corrupt.’
“Rather than respect the feelings of Nigerians by offering clear-cut responses to straight-forward allegations of tax evasion, grand corruption in and out of office, impending sealed indictment waiting for him in the U.S., Atiku Abubakar has decided to drag the world down with him as he goes down in a blaze of infamy. He has decided to go wild with wild, unsubstantiated allegations against the President and Vice President, throwing caution to the wind in the process.
“We alerted the public about this impending avalanche of fake news a few days ago. This is the classic hallmark of a sinking campaign boat, clutching at straws, as Nigerians have woken up to the realisation that these are deceitful people who have nothing to offer,” he said.
Keyamo urged Atiku and the PDP to apologize to Nigerians and especially the family of the President for adopting what he described as “unwholesome tactics” and “tales by moonlight” that have clearly backfired.
He lamented that the public space has become full of jokes about President Buhari buying the whole of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the National Stadium and even the Presidential Villa.
“Instead of making a mockery of a serious campaign with such infantile lies, Atiku Abubakar should admit it is all over for him and the PDP, throw in the towel and endorse the candidacy of President Buhari. We would be sad to see that happen because democracy desires a healthy contest, a serious challenger and a competent opposition. But as it is, with nothing more to campaign about, it is the only way for him and his party to save face and still retain some modicum of honour before the Nigerian people for future engagements,” he said.