The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the credentials of its candidates in the Kogi and Bayelsa States forthcoming governorship election, makes a mockery of the party’s anti-corruption stance.
The PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, described as a shameful irony and display of crass hypocrisy, the fact that a ruling party that prides itself as an anti-corruption crusader, will field candidates being held on corruption charges, saying such has further exposed the insincerity of the APC.
The party said “it is a mockery of strategy that the APC which has been touting the fight against corruption as its major policy, would present to the people of the two states, candidates whose public questionable credentials are further evidenced in the charges brought against them by anti-graft agencies.
“In Kogi, we have the APC brazenly fielding, for the November 21 governorship election, Prince Abubakar Audu, a former governor of the state that was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption, and who is now facing charges before the court, of breach of trust, embezzling and misappropriating the sum of N10.9 billion meant for the development of his state.
“In the same vein, in Bayelsa state, the APC is fielding, for the December 5 election, Chief Timipre Sylva, also a former governor of the state, who is similarly before the court on charges of embezzlement of a staggering sum of N19.2 billion belonging to Bayelsa State.
“This APC candidate in Bayelsa is being charged by the EFCC for embezzling funds meant for state workers for a period four years, ‘under false pretence’ of using the funds to augment their salaries.
“Now that the APC is brazenly fielding candidates with questions of corruption, we ask, do they in all honesty expect Nigerians to take them seriously on their much-hyped anti-corruption crusade?
“Does the APC expect the people of Kogi and Bayelsa states to be fooled into voting for the same individuals who are facing charges of looting funds meant for the development of their respective states?
“Also, the controversies trailing the primaries conducted by the so-called APC’s best hands, to produce these candidates with questionable credentials, further foreground the corruption prevalent in the party, which has also manifested in the presence of some persons with debatable reputations in the 21-man list of ministerial nominees forwarded to the Senate for clearance.
“Evidently, the APC has clearly established itself as a party enmeshed and thriving in corruption, even as it tries to hoodwink the public into believing that it is on a mission to fight graft in the country, a contradiction we urge all Nigerians to take copious note of.
“It has therefore become manifest that this administration’s anti-corruption agenda is dead on arrival and only applicable as a tool for witch hunt against the PDP and those holding views divergent to those of the government. Consequently, this is an open invitation by the APC to corrupt persons to join them as a party that accommodates, protects and promotes corruption in the country.
“Our joy remains that the people of Kogi and Bayelsa will definitely reject this attempt to use immunity to cloak and protect friends and associates of the ruling party and government from further prosecution.
“It is on this note that we urge the people of the two PDP states to remain unrelenting in their support for our great party and its candidates; Governors Idris Wada and Seriake Dickson respectively, to ensure their deserving overwhelming victory at the polls,” the PDP said.