The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the $25 billion contract scam at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to fund President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term ambition in 2019.
Sources gathered that the minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in a leaked letter to President Buhari dated August 30, accused the Group Managing Director (GMD) Dr. Maikanti Baru of insubordination and corruption.
The national publicity secretary of the PDP national caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, at a press conference on Thursday, October 5, expressed shock at the silence of President Buhari on the allegation.
“As a political party, we expect that the President, who prides himself as an indefatigable corruption fighter, would for once try to live above board, by genuinely allowing one of his own, accused of corruption, get properly investigated and prosecuted as a show of his impartiality in the war against corruption,”the party said.
PDP added that allegations levelled against Baru by Kachikwu were too grave to be swept under the carpet, insisting that the NNPC GMD should be treated like an accused person who should not have the opportunity to influence the investigation into his alleged misdeeds.
It therefore, called for the immediate suspension of the Baru so that proper investigation could be carried out by the relevant anti-corruption agencies.
The party said there is insincerity in President Buhari’s anti-corruption war, and challenged the president to correct the open impression Nigerians have about his so-called anti-corruption war.
“Ordinarily if there was sincerity in the anti-corruption war, President Muhammadu Buhari should not have waited for any prompting before he takes a decisive action on this matter.
“But as customary with his administration, we suspect that he’s trying to shield Baru as he did for Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) whom he merely suspended to allow the hullabaloo generated by the fraud perpetrated in the management of the emergency fund for the IDPs, die down.
“Also up till now, we have never heard anything again about the millions of dollars and billions of naira discovered at an Ikoyi apartment.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the acts of illegality and double standard perpetrated by the president in refusing to hand over Babachir Lawal to the EFCC for proper investigation and possible prosecution for graft, but rather, preferring to give the task of investigation of the open sleaze to the Vice President, in a move not known to any law of this nation,”the party said.
PDP observed that the $25 billion scandal is less than 10 percent of the $2 billion arms deal fund allegedly converted by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki for which many people have been arrested and are being persecuted.
“Nigerians can now see the hypocrisy in the so called anti-corruption fight. We may as well say that the privileged class of APC members enjoys total immunity from the anti-corruption campaign.
“We have been saying this for months that the looting of the nation’s resources under this administration is record setting in the history of this nation and we are being proven right on daily basis by the little revelations that are being made by even those working under the administration,”PDP said.
The party wondered what gave the GMD the temerity to sideline a minister under whom he works and take decisions without consultation. This, it added, might be the fact that some that powerful people at the corridors of power were tacitly involved.
“If the President’s powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari could sit on the NNPC board and such a calamity is taking place without an eyelid being blinked, we are forced to believe that the stealing is being done to the advantage of the president who has shown by his body language that the only thing that matter most to him for now, is his second term ambition.
”Will it be considered a ‘hate speech’ if we say the money being stolen by President Buhari’s men are being kept aside into a special pool for the prosecution of his second term ambition?
“We challenge the president to prove us wrong by allowing his allies being caught up in acts of brazen stealing of our commonwealth, get punished in accordance with the laws of the land. Anything aside this, we will take as confirmation of our suspicion that the rottenness is from the very top,”PDP added.
The party also demanded an order from the President to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to immediately commence investigation into all issues of corruption leveled against Baru, as well as other persons who might have overtly or covertly participated in the illegal act.