Fresh allegations indicating illegal diversion of public funds have been levelled against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
What does the recent allegation entail?
In a statement issued on Monday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP specifically accused Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali, of diverting funds meant for the procurement of military equipment to acquire campaign materials for the re-election campaign of the APC.
The PDP also maintained that the funds, which are meant to provide welfare packages to soldiers fighting insurgency in the northeast have been used to produce campaign materials including electronic momento books.
The PDP further noted that these momento books carries the APC logo alongside that of the Ministry of Defence. Thus, the party claims this is a clear indication that the Presidency has compromised the nation’s defence architecture for Mr. President’s re-election project.
PDP’s stance on the issue
The party further chided the President Buhari for not reprimanding the Minister saying that despite his ‘Mr Integrity’ status, diversion of funds has been accepted as the norm
The statement reads in part;
“It is also instructive to note that President Muhammadu Buhari, as Mr. Integrity, has not reprimanded the minister, ostensibly, given that the diversion of public funds for his re-election campaign is now a policy of the APC and the Presidency.
“Nigerians can now see how the Presidency and the APC have turned the Ministry of Defence into their Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) to fund their re-election, at the detriment of our citizens who are being daily attacked by insurgents and marauders in various parts of our country.
“The PDP notes that with these revelations, the APC has proven to be a soulless mob, which has no interest in the good of our nation, but desperate to hang onto power by all means,” .
It therefore called for for an open investigation into the handling of military funds to unravel those benefitting from the racket.
Other accusations by PDP on alleged diversion of funds
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, there have been continous accusations by the PDP that APC is involved in the diversion of public funds for campaign purposes.
On April 29, PDP accused the presidency of lying to Nigerians about its financial contributions to the country. The party alleged that APC diverted N6 billion meant for the development of states under its control to finance its forthcoming national convention.
Also on Nov. 7, a PDP lawmaker and Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi accused the federal government of diverting funds for the Social Intervention Programme (SIP) for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
She expressed concerns over the “politicization” of the SIP funds as beneficiaries were required to provide details of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on “I stand with Buhari” forms.
Similarly on Nov 16, PDP called for the immediate resignation of the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi over claims that he diverted government fund to campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari.
However in view of these allegations, APC has largely denied any involvement in diversion of funds while noting that the accusations are malicious means ochestrated by PDP to mar the image of the ruling party.