The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday lambasted the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Peter Obi, for proposing to offer amnesty to looters of public funds if they win the presidential election.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that in Wednesday night’s televised interview, entitled The Candidates, which featured Atiku and Obi, the PDP flag bearer had stated that he would consider granting amnesty to looters of public treasury if they return what they had stolen.
But in its reaction yesterday, the ruling APC declared that Nigerians would never return to the era of looting of national resources and wealth.
In a statement entitled ‘Whose Interest Does Atiku’s Presidency Bid Serve?’ the APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Oni-Issalu, faulted Atiku’s plan to grant looters amnesty, if elected, adding that Nigerians would never return to Egypt, a proverbial reference to the biblical story of Israelites leaving their enslavement in Egypt for the Promised Land that God had promised their forefathers.
The party said: “It is disturbing that Atiku and his returning mate, Peter Obi, could boldly face the national, and indeed, global audience boasting that the future of our country belongs to the looters.
“As a matter of fact, Alhaji Atiku repeatedly told a bewildered nation that those who caused poverty, unemployment, poor infrastructure and misery for many Nigerians under his watch as the vice president would be left to enjoy our commonwealth as long as they turned in part of what they have stolen. This no doubt must have gladdened the hearts of all the enemies of our country.
“In a barefaced manner, the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku, promised to roll out the red carpet for people who have wickedly teamed up with him under PDP to ruin our country, in an environment such as ours where many ordinary Nigerians, not being Atiku’s friends, are wallowing in prison for stealing their neighbours’ goats, phones, food and such.”
According the party, while Atiku tries to spread falsehood on the ongoing fight against corruption and efforts to ensure credible 2019 general elections, the real issue remains Atiku’s desperation to sell off the remaining national economic assets to his friends as he did in the past and has promised to do again if elected.
“Atiku’s bid to trade national assets as an incentive for the support of his friends and foreign investors must be resisted.
“For the All Progressives Congress, we would not get tired of reminding the PDP and Atiku that Nigerians will never return to Egypt. The era of unbridled corruption and impunity is one mission the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is determined to fight and win under a free, fair, and credible electoral process, with the support of well-meaning Nigerians,” the party stated.
.PMB Administration Not A Safe Haven For Thieves – PACAC
Meanwhile, those who think that looters of the national wealth can take cover under the Buhari administration are grossly mistaken, the executive secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has said.
Owanasoye yesterday declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is not a safe haven for people with stolen money or looted assets.
The PACAC scribe made this comment in a paper he delivered at a one-day conference on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under President Muhammadu Buhari Administration (2015-2019) held at Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, yesterday.
In the paper entitled ‘War Against Corruption and Nigeria’s Foreign Policy,’ he said: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is not a safe haven for anybody that has stolen money, and anybody fighting corruption cannot have friends.
According to Owasanoye, President Buhari has demonstrated his commitment to the fight against corruption such that no one is in doubt of his administration’s stance on corruption.
“His administration exposed many Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) going on in the country and as well exposed some government officials who looted funds and kept it in unknown bank accounts or kept them in foreign banks.
“Today, corruption is a major threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria as it undermines public institutions, destroys investment climate, subverts the rule of law, perpetuates human rights abuses and allows crimes, among others.
“Now, discussion at the international level without reference to war against corruption cannot be complete without referencing PMB’ efforts,” the presidential aide said, noting that the president was influencing global narrative and changing global orientations about Nigeria.
“His efforts to stop corruption has increased bilateral, regional and international partnership under the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and World Bank on issues of asset tracing, recovery and return.
“He is also consistent in exploring relevant platforms in international and regional gathering to emphasise the need to fight IFF, encourage asset return and increase punishment for corruption,” Owasanoye added.
He further affirmed that the Buhari administration would continue to fight corruption, as anything that undermined national security, political stability, and the growth of the country should be fought to a standstill.
CUPP asks court to declare PMB unfit for re-election
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) yesterday disclosed that it had commenced legal action at the Federal High Court, Abuja, asking that President Muhammadu Buhari be declared medically unfit to re-contest the forthcoming presidential election
The coalition said that re-electing the president would only empower the alleged cabal, who had hijacked the presidency, to rule the country for another four years by proxy.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere, disclosed that the group had sought an order directing President Buhari to make public the result of his medical examination.
Describing the step as a patriotic decision, Ugochinyere said, “We have come to the conclusion that re-electing Buhari will only empower members of the cabal that his wife admitted had hijacked his Presidency to rule us for another four years from the dark.
“In order to save this great nation the disaster that will follow if President Buhari is, in a rare happenstance, re-elected, we the opposition political parties have therefore filed litigation in court seeking to declare him unfit to contest for 2019 election because of his mental instability.
“We are also seeking from the court an order disqualifying President Muhammadu Buhari from contesting election to the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an injunction restraining INEC from recognizing his candidacy.”
The CUPP spokesman also raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the Department of State Services (DSS) to frame him up, arrest and eliminate him.
He explained that the plan was to stop him from releasing fresh evidence of an alleged plot to steal N5 billion from DSS’ election account by a former director-general of the DSS and indicting documents disclosing false assets declaration by key appointees of the president.
…We Will File Counter Claim – Keyamo
However, in his reaction to CUPP’s legal action over President Buhari’s fitness for re-election, the spokesman of APC Presidential Campaign Council Festus Keyamo (SAN), has disclosed that the campaign outfit would file a counter claim before the court, seeking its leave to examine whether those seeking the order are medically stable.
According to him, those seeking the court to declare President Muhammadu Buhari medically unfit to contest the election may as well have medical challenges.
In a telephone chat with LEADERSHIP Friday, Kenyamo said: “We will meet in court. We are going to file a counter claim for the court to examine those who are seeking the claim – whether they are medically okay.”
…CUPP Teaming Up With Atiku To Get Power At All Cost – APC
On its part, the APC has criticised the CUPP, alleging that the group was comprised of members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who have teamed up with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to get power at all cost in a bid to plunder the country.
The national publicity secretary of the APC, Mal. Lanre Issa-onilu, made this comment while debunking CUPP’s insinuation that President Muhammadu Buhari was not fit to run for office.
The ruling party said even though was not predisposed to responding to CUPP, it was clear that the PDP was heading for certain failure in the coming general elections, hence its plan to scuttle the process.
Mal. Onilu said: “I will not honour the so-called CUPP with any response because they don’t exist. These are members of PDP who are looking for space to team up with Atiku – as he has promised, so that when he gets to power, they will continue from where they stopped.
“However I will address the issue they have raised. You will recall that, in 2015, an issue like this arose and the scenario then was different. It is crystal clear that this coming election is going to be a disaster for PDP and all efforts to scuttle the efforts, all efforts to blackmail the institutions that are responsible for the conduct of elections, all efforts to smear the image of the president – all that they have thrown at us have failed. So you can also say this is another effort which will also amount to nothing.
“The president is hale and hearty. They started by saying the president will pass on his responsibility to campaign to the leader of the party Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that he was not fit enough to go round the country to talk to the people we have been working hard for three and a half years to improve their livelihood.
“But we have been doing well, more than their so-called healthy presidential candidate. The president is still going round the country. As I am speaking, he is in Kano before a massive crowd never seen before.”
The APC spokesman noted that the president had insisted on campaigning in the 36 states of the federation.
“If that is a miracle to them, you should understand that when God is involved, that is how it looks,” he concluded.