…Osinbajo should account for missing NNPC N19trn, N18bn NEMA – PDP
…Osinbajo: The difference between us and past govt is that we are not thieves
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of complicity in a large scale sleaze in the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The PDP also accused Osinbajo of allowing himself and his office to be used for the diversion of public attention from the impunity and corruption that saturate the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
However, in a swift reaction, the Vice President has denied any wrong doing, saying that in fact the present administration has been able to do more for Nigerians despite the very sharp decline in National income than the previous government did for the people at a time of abundance.
But, the PDP further alleged that Prof. Osinbajo has been silent on the exposed corruption under the Buhari administration, including the leaked memo detailing N9trillion corrupt oil contracts at the NNPC, exposed sleazes in oil subsidy deals, diversion of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) intervention funds, which includes the probe of a misappropriated N18billion in National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), under his direct supervision as well as other looting in government agencies such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The PDP in the statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, alleged that Osinbajo, in an attempt to defend the performance of the Buhari administration, has been bandying unsubstantiated figures.
Ologbondiyan stated that “the party has noted that Vice President Osinbajo has refused to heed wise counsel and accord respect to his office by desisting from such unguarded comments only because he has been sucked in and entangled in the propaganda, deception, impunity and sleazes that not only brought their administration to power, but have become its trademarks in the last three years.
“As a professor of law, and an occupant of the exalted seat of the Vice President of our country, Prof. Osinbajo should know better than allowing himself to be used to bandy figures and make unguarded statements at public events, such as his comments at the APC ward congress in Lagos, where he described everyone else as “thieves”.
The PDP further accused the vice president of being ominously silent about the prevailing high-handedness and human rights violations and the aloofness of government resulting in daily blood-letting in various parts of the country.
The party advised Osinbajo “to take heed, retreat to the inner room, and conduct a soul searching before the great cloud of witnesses. He should also note that propaganda and, particularly, false accusations are not only abhorred by the Holy Books, but will also not deliver the APC and its incompetent administration from the resolve of Nigerians to kick them out, come 2019”.
But faulting the claims of the PDP through a statement credited to his Senior Special Assistant Media, Mr. Laolu Akande, Osinbajo took out time to explain what the present Federal Government has been able to do despite the paucity of funds in the last three years of its administration.
Osinbajo added that Nigerians are conscious of what the government is doing and that no one can mislead them.
He said: “Nigerians cannot be fooled by the calculated attempt to befuddle the issues, deny and deflect the weighty allegations and the hard facts of grand corruptions and crass stealing that went on under the past administration.
“We have presented credible and unassailable information and facts regarding the grand corruption that has taken place under the previous administration”.
He noted that the government has done much and is still working to give Nigerians a better life, adding that: “We have set out a Social Investment Programme, which currently is providing, under one of the clusters, the National Homegrown School Feeding, where we are providing one free meal a day to 7.6 million pupils across 24 states in the nation.
This is at a time when the income of the country is down. The difference between us and the past administration is that we are not thieves. We are using public resources to take care of the people.
“In the past, public resources were shared by a gang of looters who found protection within government, and we have given this information and the facts are out there.
“Make a note of this, there hasn’t been any serious contests of these claims for the most part.
“So, we have under the Social Investment Programmes, the N-Power. This programme is designed to hire half a million otherwise unemployed Nigerian graduates, we have done 200,000 to date who are engaged in their local communities and receiving 30,000 per month stipend. They have a tablet that they can work with, which also gives them exposure and more skills.
“We are doing this at a point in time when the income of this country is lower than what it was when they were stealing it. The difference between us and the other government is that we are not thieves.
“Look at the micro-credit programme, where we have about 300,000 soft loans that have been written; interest free loans to artisans, market women and men, between N10,000 and N100,000 have been given to over 300,000 people and we are hoping to do a million. We are spending the resources of this country on the people of this country.
“The same thing under the Conditional Cash Transfer, we have done close to almost 300,000, we are giving N5,000 every month and again, we intend to do this for one million people. All of these programmes are on, and we have given N5000 to those deemed to be the poorest and most vulnerable.”