By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday condemned the federal government’s approval for the release of $1bn to fight insurgency in the North-East.
The opposition party accused the government of scheming to get money to fight the same insurgents it claimed to have defeated.
The PDP further asserted that the development had rubbished the integrity of the current administration and called on it to apologise to Nigerians for lying to them about the actual state of affairs in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria and “for giving them a false sense of security, resulting in their vulnerability to attacks by terrorists.”
While describing the proposal as curious and alarming, the party urged the National Assembly to subject the disbursement to thorough interrogation to verify that the money was used for the stated reason.
The PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party was alarmed by the manipulative plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to secure approvals without recourse to due process, and for purposes of fighting the same insurgents it claimed to have since defeated.
The PDP further wondered why the APC-led federal government had to go through the National Economic Council (NEC) while avoiding the direct constitutional appropriation channel of the National Assembly for funding of items already provided for in the federal budget if it actually has nothing to hide.
The statement read in part: “The PDP supports the fight against insurgency. We hold our officers and men confronting the terrorists and securing our territorial integrity in high esteem, but we are concerned about the manipulative tendencies connected with the approvals as well as the veracity of the claimed purpose of the fund.
“Nigerians would recall that the APC-led federal government had claimed that it had since defeated the insurgents. If it would take a billion dollars from a nation’s savings to kill what they long claimed was dead, then we challenge the APC government come clean and tell Nigerians the whole truth.
“The era of lies and propaganda is long gone and Nigerians now know the truth. The federal government must be held accountable and stopped from any move to fritter away our national savings.
“We therefore call on the National Assembly to interrogate this proposed disbursement and subject it to a thorough but rapid interrogation.”
The PDP recalled that the three points upon which APC hinged its governance agenda were security, corruption and economy and said it was apparent that the ruling party had failed in all three.
“On the economy, they have taken us into recession; on security, Boko Haram is still ravaging our people; on corruption, the APC government has only embarked on witchhunt of the opposition while enmeshed in monumental corruption thriving unabated right inside the engine of its administration”, the party said.
The PDP vowed to ensure the APC did not continue to deceive Nigerians, by removing them from office in 2019.