President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of shielding some of his close aides and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who allegedly stole 28 billion naira meant for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement alleged that 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 meant for the well-being of victims of insurgency.
According to the main opposition party, 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 for North East (PINE), since the issues came into the public domain.
The statement signed by PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, read in part: “President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately recover over N28 billion meant for the rehabilitation of IDPs in the north-east but allegedly stolen by members of the presidency cabal and certain interests in his All Progressives Congress (APC).
“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 benefited officials of the APC 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.”
While sympathizing with the victims for the double jeopardy they have suffered from insurgents and corrupt government officials, the opposition party challenged the Buhari presidency to fulfill its 2015 campaign promises by recovering the stolen monies for the IDPs and prosecuting the accused persons.