The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday charged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately recover over N28 billion meant for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the northeast but allegedly stolen by members of the presidency cabal and certain Interests in his All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, the party
said the presidency and the APC are not being sincere with the IDPs by providing cover for those who have been frittering away billions of naira donated for the well-being of victims of the insurgency.
The PDP said the President cannot in all honesty claim not to be aware of reported sharp practices, involving billions of naira in the management of funds in the Presidential Initiative on the North East since the issues came into the public domain.
It added: “Indeed, the Presidency cannot, in any way imaginable, claim not to be aware of reports that sometime in August 2017, a cabinet minister and a high ranking presidency official were alleged to have diverted N18 billion from the N48 billion approved by the National Assembly for the rehabilitation of millions of IDPs and rebuilding of six northeast states ravaged by insurgency in the 2017 budget.
“The APC and the Buhari Presidency cannot claim to be unaware of the damning report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a public document which detailed how officials were using bulk of the resources meant for the IDPs on contracts that were found to have immensely benefitted officials of the APC Government including the sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
“The Buhari Presidency and the APC cannot also claim to be unaware of the motion by Senator Baba Kaka Garba from Borno Central, who exposed how persons known to have connections with the APC, fraudulently cornered N1.2 billion from the Federal Government under the guise of supplying items to IDPs.
“Despite the open allegations, the Presidency has not taken any firm step towards an open investigation into the alleged involvement of a cabinet minister and top Presidency in the stealing of N18 billion IDP fund, not to talk about recovering the stolen funds.”
The PDP recalled that it took immense pressure from Nigerians before President Buhari could even sack his indicted former SGF, who, hitherto, was enjoying the cover of the Presidency.
It further said: “All the IDP’s had got from the APC and Buhari-led Presidency are excuses, false assurances, cosmetic condolence messages and crocodile tears, while the cronies and cabal who are frittering away their funds enjoy the protection of the government.
“Perhaps, this explains why Mr President’s handlers, in all his visits to troubled states, has ensured that he had no direct interaction with the IDPs probably to avoid being directly taken to task on the stolen fund.
“It is clear to Nigerians that the APC government swims in corruption and concealment of sleazes, but stealing from the IDPs is what they least expected. That, for the majority of Nigerians, is the worst form of man’s inhumanity to man.
“The PDP, therefore, stands in solidarity with those deprived victims and we demand an end to this concealment of fraud and cosmetic concern for the victims.
“The PDP also challenge Buhari Presidency to live true to its 2015 elections probity campaign by making the report of its administrative investigations on sleaze involving the Cabal and other APC interests public.
“The PDP also urge all Nigerians and the international community to join hands and ensure that the funds are recovered from APC interests and immediately released to the IDPs.”