Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the face of corruption in Nigeria, even as it accused the opposition party of doing everything to shrink the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union, AU, placed on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, the task of championing the war throughout the continent.
But, the opposition PDP, back at home stated its “deeply disappointing reaction to the inauguration of President Buhari as the continental anti-corruption Champion for the year 2018.”
While flaying the critics, Shehu regretted that a section of politicians and some economists have been quick to pronounce the war against corruption in Nigeria a failure because those people are the greatest losers wherever the ordinary citizens make a gain.”
Mr. Shehu said the PDP in particular “has come to signify the face of corruption in Nigeria and they have not hidden their efforts to shrink the achievements of the Buhari Administration”.
“They are bent, as it clearly seems, on crushing all hopes of ridding this country of the scourge of corruption.
“As the President keeps saying, in 16 years that the party held sway, we solely relied on oil, the price of which was as high as US$140 per barrel.
“Government simply squandered oil revenue through personal spending by corrupt leaders, wasteful expenses and salaries.
“This was done rather than growing the economy through capital investment in assets like seaports, airports, power plants, railways, roads and housing as this administration is currently doing,” he said.
Mr. Shehu also said that Nigeria did not record a ‘single major infrastructural project’ in the 10 years preceding the Buhari administration.
“In short, the money was mismanaged, spent largely on what was not needed and no savings were made. They compounded the problem by borrowing heavily and failed woefully to pay contractors and international oil companies,” he said.
He also said the last two years of the Buhari administration have revealed the “massive and unrivalled level of corruption in which the PDP and its leaders at the highest level thrived.”
“So it mustn’t surprise anyone really that they have chosen their obstructionist role rather than lending a helping hand in the fight against corruption.”
Diezani ‘looted enough cash to build six cancer treatment centres’
Mr. Shehu also came down hard on a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke, over the massive recoveries of stolen assets traced to her.
Mrs. Madueke is currently in London facing corruption trial while she reportedly also battles cancer.
“By a rough estimate, the amount of money including the value of estates recovered (or in the process of being recovered) from a single woman by virtue of being close to power can pay for the construction and equipping a cancer treatment hospital for each of the six geopolitical the Federation, and still counting,” he said.
Mr. Shehu said recent attacks against the Buhari administration came out simply to, “cast a pall on this continental honour to President Buhari and to Nigeria which, in terms of added significance had the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Anthony Gutierrez at hand giving full support”.
He said it is both a tragedy and an opportunity that this honour on Nigeria and its leader is in its timing, is coming amid heightened criticism of his well-recognized efforts to purge the country of bribery, corruption and illicit cash outflows that have become so entrenched to the point of forming a strong and normative social practice.