…Apology decoy to capture power—Presidency
…PDP offloaded looters to APC—Fayose
By Emmanuel Aziken, Johnbosco Agbakwuru,By Dirisu Yakubu& Prince Okafor
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Friday released the list of those, he said allegedly looted the economy during the stewardship of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He also mentioned the names of five people and the amount allegedly siphoned by them from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.
However, those listed still have pending alleged corruption cases in the courts.
According to Mohammed: ”The PDP has challenged us to name the looters under their watch. They said they did not loot the treasury.
“I am sure they know that the treasury was looted dry under their watch. Yet they decided to grandstand. This shows the hollowness of their apology to Nigerians. Let us just give them a teaser.
“This list is just a tip of the iceberg, and the PDP is aware of this. We did not make these cases up. Many of these cases are in court and the records are available. Some of the people on this list are seeking a plea bargain, and that is a fact.
“We insist that Nigeria was looted blind under the watch of the PDP, and the starting point in tendering an apology is for them to return the loot.
“It is like a robber admitting to stealing your car and apologising, but saying he will keep the car. It doesn’t work that way.
“The PDP is a hypocrite. And that reminds me of what English writer William Hazlitt said: ‘’The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.
“We will not stop talking about the massive looting by the PDP. They brought Nigeria to this sorry state. We are now looking for loans to build infrastructure, and they asked us not to talk about it. We will talk about it.”
Apology decoy to capture power
Meanwhile, the Presidency, yesterday, said the apology of the PDP was not genuine.
Consequently, it urged Nigerians to be cautious of it.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said the PDP should return its alleged loot.
The statement reads: “The PDP is desperate to recapture power because it no longer has unhindered access to national resources for private uses and its apology should be seen in this context.
“The PDP has not even acknowledged the fact that it plundered the national economy. And for a party that dismissed the anti-corruption war as a political witch hunt, it is impossible to believe that its public apology comes from the bottom of the heart.
“Even desperate thieves apologise because they are caught and not because they are incapable of repeating the crime if they had another opportunity.
“We believe that the PDP should not only apologize for the imposition of candidates, and the culture of impunity, but must also come clean and acknowledge that they participated in large-scale corruption and massive diversions of public funds to private pockets while poverty was ravaging the ordinary Nigerians.
“We challenge individual PDP leaders to publicly and voluntarily tell Nigerians how much they stole.
“Apology borne by desperation to recapture power without a desire to admit how much they stole and the reluctance to return the loot is morally hollow. This goes beyond rebranding. Nigerians are not interested in brands. They want their money back.
“For such apology to gain acceptance, the offenders must first show remorse and return that which was unlawfully taken or restore the damage caused the nation and commit to never doing the wrong they did again. The PDP has done none of these for them to be taken seriously by anyone.”
List is laughable, misleading—PDP
Reacting to the statement the PDP dismissed the list as laughable.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan challenged the government to come up with names of its member convicted for looting.
The statement reads: “The federal government has manifested its frenzy by going after matters that are in court and in which none of the persons have been convicted, thus betraying their wickedness and desperation to mislead the public, the court and divert attention from the heavy looting involving their members.
“We are not in doubt that the individuals he has mentioned will take their legitimate stride and pursue appropriate action in the court. However, attacks on individuals who are members of our party do not in anyway change the fact that the PDP, as a political platform, is not a party of corruption.
“It is unfortunate that the APC and its government under whose watch horrendous sleazes are happening on daily basis can spend three years searching for flimsy allegations to discredit our party.”
PDP offloaded looters to APC—Fayose
Similarly, Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose lampooned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, over what he described as the continuous attack on the PDP over alleged corrupt practices.
Fayose said: “Today, the most difficult question any student can be asked to answer in an examination is to list five landmark achievements of the government in which Prof Osinbajo is the Vice President.
“Today, even prosecution witnesses are suddenly disappearing in corruption cases involving those who have defected to the APC and properties once seized are being returned to them. Obviously, PDP has purged itself of corrupt elements in its fold and offloaded them to the APC.”