The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to explain to Nigerians how $1 billion allegedly disappeared from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party drew the attention of Nigerians to “the shocking confession by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd), that he was not aware of the whereabouts or disbursement of the $1billion drawn from the ECA by the Buhari presidency in 2017 for security purposes.” According to the party, “the confession by the NSA, who coordinates the security architecture of the nation, directly places a huge burden on President Buhari’s doorsteps over reported stealing and diversion of funds meant for security, while insurgency, banditry, killings, and kidnapping fester in the land on his watch.” The statement further claimed that the revelation by the NSA vindicated the PDP on its initial alarm that “the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration is overtly corrupt, deceptive and unreliable in the handling of the affairs of our nation.”
“It further validates the stance of the PDP that agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC are hiding under the guise of security to siphon the $1billion from the ECA. This, perhaps, informed the desperation by the cabal to draw from the account without recourse to statutory due process of appropriation by the National Assembly, “the opposition party said. The statement further reads: “From Gen. Mongunu’s confession, Nigerians can further see why our nation is daily confronted with disturbing videos and reports of our fighting troops protesting their neglect and inadequate equipping, leading to their vulnerability in the fronts. “Now that the national security adviser has declared that he is not aware of the whereabouts of funds, the burden, straightaway, lies squarely on. President Buhari to immediately address the nation on how the money was handled.”
The PDP said that already, there were allegations in the public space that certain funds meant for security were diverted for the 2019 election campaign of the APC while the nation’s troops languished in the front. PDP alleged that the APC administration’s insincerity in the management of the ECA funds led to its demand in 2017 that the National Assembly investigate the handling of the $1billion. The opposition restated its demand that President Buhari should allow for a system-wide investigation into the whereabouts of the $1billion, as well as the handling of other funds meant for security purposes in his administration. “Furthermore, the PDP invites Nigerians to note that such diversion of funds under the Buhari administration led to the articulation of a blueprint by Atiku Abubakar for a transparent system that eliminates siphoning of funds, particularly in our critical sectors,” the statement said. When contacted for a reaction, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lanre Isa-Onilu, said he would rather comment after the story would have been published than to respond to a statement from the major opposition party.