The Presidency on Wednesday described the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the face of corruption in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who said Africa’s bid to stem widespread corruption, took a decisive turn on Sunday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, when the African Union (AU) placed on President Buhari the task of championing the war throughout the continent.
He noted that the choice was not for nothing as the opposition PDP back at home claimed in their deeply disappointing reaction to the inauguration of President Buhari as the continental anti-corruption champion for the year 2018.
“He said, “As a matter of fact, a section of politicians and some economists have been quick to pronounce the war against corruption in Nigeria a failure because those people are the greatest losers wherever the ordinary citizens make a gain.
“The PDP in particular has come to signify the face of corruption in Nigeria and they have not hidden their efforts to shrink the achievements of the Buhari Administration. They are bent, as it clearly seems, on crushing all hopes of ridding this country of the scourge of corruption.
“As the president keeps saying, in sixteen years that the party held sway, we solely relied on oil, the price of which was as high as US$140 per barrel. Government simply squandered oil revenue through personal spending by corrupt leaders, wasteful expenses and salaries.
“This was done rather than growing the economy through capital investment in assets like seaports, airports, power plants, railways, roads and housing as this administration is currently doing. Nigeria did not record a single major infrastructural project in the 10 years preceding the Buhari administration.
“In short, the money was mismanaged, spent largely on what was not needed and no savings were made. They compounded the problem by borrowing heavily and failed woefully to pay contractors and international oil companies”.
Shehu said the last two years of this administration have revealed the massive and unrivalled level of corruption in which the PDP and its leaders at the highest level thrived, adding that it mustn’t surprise anyone that they have chosen their obstructionist role rather than lending a helping hand in the fight against corruption.
The presidential spokesman observed that, by a rough estimate, the amount of money, including the value of estates recovered (or in the process of being recovered) from a single woman (Madam), by virtue of being close to power can pay for the construction and equipping a cancer treatment hospital for each of the six geopolitical zones of the ederation and still counting.
“So, if you have noticed, the barbs came out in the last few weeks ostensibly to cast a pall on this continental honour to President Buhari and to Nigeria, which in terms of added significance had the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Anthony Gutierrez at hand giving full support”, he added.