…Says under PDP, we had army of phantom soldiers whose pay went to politicians’ pockets
The Presidency yesterday slammed the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), alleging that its politicians robbed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), and stole $20 billion during their last year in power.
The Presidency was reacting to the PDP governors’ criticism of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration yesterday, in which the party branded the administration as a failure.
Recall that the PDP governors had met in Abia State on March 24, after which they declared that the APC is unfit to participate in the 2023 general election, describing the ruling party as a failure that had become a menace to Nigerians.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, in an issued statement yesterday, said the PDP governors were attempting to cover up the “serial failure” of the opposition party’s period in office.
He said the Buhari-led administration and APC “have strived these past seven years to repair” the damage done by the PDP.
The statement partly read: “We cannot forget under PDP, the nation had an army full of phantom soldiers, whose pay went to PDP politicians’ pockets while our under-resourced real soldiers perished in the fight against terrorist insurgents, with our international allies refusing to supply Nigeria the necessary kits and military aid.
“Today, however, with the APC, our army is resourced; we have fighter jets from our partners; Boko Haram is being driven from every inch of Nigeria’s territory, with ISWAP’s leader being eliminated in Nigerian air strikes.
“We cannot ignore how PDP politicians sought – and continue to seek – to inflame ethnic and religious tensions by refusing to even proffer a solution to the herder-farmer clashes which became most prevalent under their misrule.
“Today, with APC in government, there are ranches on Federal land as well as in State’s land, whereby there is the willingness to establish them. Clashes are reduced; lives are saved, and livelihoods are enriched”, the presidency said.
He added that under the APC, funds from NNPC are directly and transparently used to fund social and health programmes such as the Covid-19 response and the construction of public infrastructure.
According to the presidency, “We will always remember how PDP politicians intentionally encouraged and exploited the black market in currency exchange to convert ill-gotten gains to foreign currency and undermine our national currency, then spirited their funds abroad in their billions and into foreign bank accounts.
“We will always know how PDP politicians raided the NNPC, consistently failed to pay into the Federation Account and, in the last year of PDP misrule, $20 billion was simply found ‘missing’.
“Today, with APC, funds from NNPC are directly and transparently used to fund social and health programmes – such as COVID-19 response, the construction of roads, bridges and rail, and equipping of hospitals to cope with new and existing challenges.
The Presidency added that such people that played politics of division and hate and created communal disturbances needed to change.
It said the governors reeled out numbers on the economy, pretending as if the once-in-a-lifetime Covid-19 pandemic, with its huge and devastating effect, disrupting global supply chains, uniformly battering the world economy never happened.
The Presidency insisted that Covid-19 brought suffering and hardship to the doorstep of the entire global community-less maybe, of the affluent and pretentious PDP Governors-and that to the credit of this administration, Nigeria’s economy recovered faster and stronger than the entire world ever imagined.
“Check the facts and leave the politics: What does the country get with this kind of gimmick?”, it added.