Being text of remarks by National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, Tuesday, during a press conference at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.
Gentlemen of the Press, recall that the PDP in welcoming the new cabinet advised them to get focused and reduce the flip-flops common with the government in the last six months.
We also advised that in handling the affairs of governance, this administration should endeavour to be honest truthful and open in its dealing with Nigerians.
The PDP has watched with keen interest some disturbing recent development, particularly, the exchange of words between the National Assembly and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive over the controversies surrounding the handling of the remittances in the
Treasury Single Account (TSA) as well as the conflicting statements between the Presidency and INEC on the revelation of secret meetings between the two bodies on Kogi governorship election.
On the controversies trailing the operations of the TSA, the conflicting statements emanating from the federal executive, via the minister of information and the CBN underscore the fear being raised by the Senate that there may have been underhand deals in the process.
Whereas the Senate has ordered its committee on finance and public accounts to investigate the remitting and handling of N2.5 trillion into the TSA, the federal executive, through the minister of information, had earlier informed the nation that the sum of N1.4 trillion has been remitted, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) put its figure at below a trillion and announced an estimated collectable amount of N1.2 trillion.
The PDP finds this discordant tune and Monday’s brazen attack by the minister of information on whistle blowers as completely unacceptable and contradictory of a government that rode to power on the garb of ‘Mr. Clean’.
This is addition to the fact that the firm handling the TSA remittances has been given the leeway to rake millions of naira into unknown purses from fees charged MDAs for training of their personnel involved in the TSA.
The PDP challenges the present administration to show transparency and be bold and honest enough to come out clear on the remittances and operation of the TSA instead of trying to use the veneer of politics to hide the rot already simmering under the APC administration.
Similarly, the PDP draws the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the inconsistency in the denials by the presidency and INEC regarding the revelation of their secret meetings to plot the manipulation of Saturday’s Kogi state governorship election to ensure victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While INEC outrightly denied ever holding any such meeting with the Presidency, the President, through his media aide, Garba Shehu, acknowledged holding the secret meeting, but said it lasted only five minutes.
We ask, who do Nigerians believe; the Presidency or INEC? The fact remains that the contradictions betray the element of conspiracy by this APC administration to rig the Kogi governorship election.
We also wish to further expose the insincerity of this government, which in its attempt to forcefully take-over Kogi state, is now flooding the state with corrupt money ostensibly to sway the people and purchase their mandate. This primitive attempt at vote-buying is not only aninsult on the people of Kogi state but also setback to efforts towards credible elections in Nigeria.
This same government that prides itself of being incorruptible had in addition to fielding persons facing corruption charges in Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections had earlier in Kebbi, fielded Governor Atiku Bagudu, who falsely declared to INEC that he has never been convicted, imprisoned or fined for any wrong doing, when in actual sense there are records that he was indicted and is being wanted by the US Justice Department, for which he is now facing pre-election charges at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The PDP invites Nigerians to note all these inconsistencies, double-speaks and flip-flops as clear evidence of a government with a dubious intention; even as it continues in the attempts to make
Nigerians believe that it is transparent in its dealings.
We wish to state categorically that the PDP has never made any claim or any statement that has been contradicted by either the government or the ruling party (beginning with our revelation that the Director General of the DSS is a member of the APC, to the latest revelation of the secret meeting between the Presidency and INEC on plots to rig the Kogi governorship election).
The PDP will continue to show responsibility and caution in ensuring that only facts that have been verified by the party are put out to the public at all times. We will not indulge in falsehood as we continue in our opposition role of putting this administration on check in the general interest of the nation.