By Taiwo Adebowale
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has welcomed the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that some officials of his administration have been found wanting on corruption, and charged him to match his words with action by immediately charging those already indicted to court.
The PDP noted in a statement that Mr. President’s acceptance that there were abuse of trust by persons in his government had vindicated its position that the Buhari administration is replete with treasury looters, who had been enjoying the cover of government.
The party however asserted that unless the President matches his assertion with corresponding action against officials of his government as well as leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are indicted for corruption, his declaration will still end up as one of the glib promises made by the APC and Buhari Presidency since 2015.
“It is public knowledge that the APC administration had provided cover for loads of corrupt individuals in its fold as none of the government officials and APC leaders, who have been openly indicted for corruption, abuse of office and treasury looting, have been held culpable and prosecuted.
“Instead, what the nation is witnessing is the constant harassment, intimidation, hounding and persecution of opposition leaders and other Nigerians with dissenting views, with trumped-up charges,” the PDP alleged.
The PDP slammed President Buhari for allowing individuals found wanting in the unbridled looting of billions of naira from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the North East Development Commission (NEDC) among other agencies to walk away with just a pat on the wrist.
“Currently, the delay in prosecuting the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, as well as indicted officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in fraud allegations, in which very top officials of the Buhari administration have been mentioned, does not convey any sense of commitment by the administration to fight against corruption.
“Our party stresses that this new assurances by Mr. President is in line with the practice of the PDP, in whose administration anti-corruption structures were not only established but corrupt officials were investigated, prosecuted and where found guilty, punished in line with the provisions of the law.
“It is however strange that the Buhari administration is setting up special investigation panels to investigate officials of government accused of malfeasance bordering on corruption rather than allowing statutory anti-corruption agencies and the courts to carry out their responsibilities in that regard.
“Our party is concerned that such approach will cover the exposed shame of this administration, shield top officials of government and the APC from prosecution.
“The PDP therefore calls on the Buhari Presidency to stop its pretentious approach to the fight against corruption and allow those behind the humongous corruption in NEMA, NSITF, NDDC, NHIS, FIRS, NEDC as well as the arsonists in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to have their days before the law,” the party further stated.