The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of looting billions of naira, in the name of social intervention programmes for poor Nigerians, over Coronavirus pandemic
The party in a statement on Monday, signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its national publicity secretary, said the All Progressive Congress (APC) government is only using the names of poor Nigerians to siphon “billions of naira to finance their wasteful lifestyle”, while majority of the citizens wallow in hardship and abject poverty.
The statement read: “Our party holds that APC leaders and the cabal have been fleecing our nation through the social incentives program rather than deploying it to benefit the people.
“The PDP said the manifest failure of the much-orchestrated COVID-19 social palliatives to reach Nigerians, contrary to claims by the APC-led administration, also validates allegations that the APC has been using ghost beneficiaries to siphon government resources.
“The party described as alarming and revealing that not even a handful of Nigerians has acknowledged receiving any social panacea from government despite claims by officials, of having paid out billions of naira as palliatives to individuals and households.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how officials of the APC-led administration fraudulently sidestepped extant financial regulations and illegally resorted to cash disbursements, directly by a cabinet minister, instead of using Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cash disbursement facility.
“Such was part of the design to use few unsuspecting Nigerians to circumvent the system, muddle up financial documentation and accountability processes and facilitate the siphoning of huge chunk of the palliative fund.
“Such practice directly points to fraudulent diversion of funds by APC leaders, who have been using the same template of the discredited social investment programmes, which had been exposed by the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, as a fraud, when she, last year, revealed that the N500bn Social Investment Programme of the Buhari administration was not getting to the target beneficiaries.
“More embarrassing is the duplicitous inclusion of the scandalous school feeding programme as an expenditure line even when schools are closed following the social distancing directives; an alarming development that points to the level of corruption in the APC administration.
“The public can now see how the APC-led administration has been using the names of poor Nigerians to loot our national treasury and fritter away billions of naira to finance their wasteful lifestyle while majority of our citizens wallow in hardship and abject poverty.
“This explains why the APC-led administration has refused to open up on the handling of palliative funds despite huge allegations of fraud and diversion.
“It also explains why the APC, as a party, has failed to speak up in support of transparency and accountability in the social intervention programmes, even at this perilous time.
“Instead, the APC leaders are falling over themselves and stampeding the National Assembly for anticipatory approval of N500 billion for yet to be itemized social palliative measures.
“The PDP, standing with millions of Nigerians, restates its call on the National Assembly to properly scrutinize the N500 billion request, ensure clauses that guarantee that the N500 billion and all other social intervention funds get to ordinary Nigerians.
“Our party also restates the call on the National Assembly to immediately investigate allegations of diversion of funds in the recent disbursement of palliative money by a cabinet minister and recover same for Nigerians.”