January 2, 2019

2019: PDP accuses Buhari of diverting military funds to finance re-election bid


President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

…Tasks Interpol, DSS, EFCC to swing into action

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA- The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of diverting funds meant for the procurement of military equipments to finance his 2019 re- election campaign.

The party made the allegation Wednesday at a press conference addressed by the Director, Media and Publicity of its Presidential Campaign Council, Kola Ologbindiyan.

President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

The PDP for the umpteenth time tasked President Buhari to speak up personally on allegations that members of his family acquired majority shares in telecom giants, Etisalat (now 9mobile) and Money Deposit Bank, Keystone Bank PLC.

“The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization, PPCO, calls for an urgent investigation into the alleged link between the reportedly diverted military funds and the N1.032 trillion said to have been used by President Muhammadu Buhari’s family members for corrupt acquisition in 9 Mobile Nigeria and Keystone Bank PLC.

“The PPCO calls for an independent and system-wide investigation by the INTERPOL, Directorate of State Services, DSS, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the alleged links between the two funds.

“This concerted investigation has become imperative following President Buhari’s failure to directly speak out on the allegations against his family members, as well as explain how they came about the sum of N1.032 trillion for the alleged acquisition.

“We make this demand in view of public insinuations that the money may have been sourced from funds meant for the purchase of weapons for our soldiers.

“Also, the attention of the PPCO has been drawn to a vicious attempt by the APC to use diversionary tactics to dismiss allegations of corruption hanging directly on President Muhammadu Buhari. The APC is attempting to dismiss revelations that family members of President Buhari’s involvement in acquiring substantial shares in both the 9 Mobile and Keystone Bank Plc that is worth over a N1 trillion.

“More so, the Buhari-led Presidency has blatantly refused to respond to allegations that military fund is being used to finance President Buhari’s re-election campaign which even manifested in the use of military resources to produce All Progressives Congress, APC, campaign materials, including an electronic momento book by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali,” the party said.

The PDP also bemoaned what it called “disturbing videos” showing Nigerians soldiers battling insurgency in the North-East in pitiable conditions owing to their “neglect” by the Buhari administration.

“The PPCO is deeply worried by the disturbing videos of our gallant soldiers languishing and being killed by insurgents due to neglect and failure of the Buhari administration to adequately equip them in the fronts.

“The PPCO is also unhappy by similar videos, showing our soldiers protesting and threatening to retreat from the fronts, while grumbling against their neglect by the Buhari administration.

“This should not be the way to go for our nation. Our soldiers are brave and have continued to show the highest form of professionalism and unmatched patriotism in risking and laying down their lives in defence of fatherland. Therefore, any action by anybody that is capable of reducing their morale in the fronts must never be allowed,” it added.

That said, the publicity scribe also warned the electoral umpire not to toy with neutrality and professionalism in the conduct of the polls, even as it said it was unaware of fresh pressure on it by agents of the ruling party to manipulate the electoral process.

He continued: “The PPCO cautions the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Yakubu Mahmood to immediately disentangle himself and his commission from the fresh plot by the APC and the Buhari Presidency to compromise the electoral guideline and pave the way for the alteration of the results of the 2019 general election to favour President Buhari.

“We urge Professor Yakubu to note that Nigerians are already aware of the pressure being placed on him by the Buhari-led Presidency and APC seeking to force the commission to drop the display of results at the polling units as well as the electronic transmission of polled figures to INEC server from its guidelines.

“The Buhari-led Presidency is desperate to remove these requirements because the display of results at the polling units ensures that results posted at all levels remain those originally announced at the various polling units, while the electronic transmission to INEC server ensures that the results from the polling centers are not tampered with. PDP also demands that INEC allows both local and international observers to its situation room to ensure that the final figures are not tampered with.

“This demand has become imperative in the face of allegations and public apprehensions that the INEC Chairman is being offered humongous sums of money, running into billions of naira, by agents of the APC and the cabal at the Buhari Presidency to accede to their demands.

“Information at our disposal further reveals that the INEC Chairman has been under pressure from this group said to be coordinated by President Buhari’s blood relation in INEC, who, we are surprised, Prof Yakubu still allows around himself.

“Professor Yakubu is now counseled to distance himself from these very dangerous racketeers and the commission from this very dangerous racket, as Nigerians will directly hold him responsible should these two important guidelines that guarantee transparency in the elections suddenly disappear from the INEC manual.”

The party also rejected the alleged plan use of past National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) members as Ad-Hoc Staff during the elections, saying it is a ploy to deploy card-carrying members of the ruling party.

“It has further come to our knowledge that the INEC Chairman is contemplating the deployment of past National Youth Service Commission, NYSC, members for the 2019 election.

“The PPCO totally rejects this ignoble intention which is a ploy to use APC card-carrying members as polls officers.

“It is very instructive to state that the on going ASUU strike has not by any measure evacuated its members from the surface of the earth.

“Therefore, if INEC sought to use the members of ASUU for the 2019 elections, the on going strike will not be an excuse to deploy APC members,” he added.

On the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, which expires today, the publicity secretary urged President Buhari to demonstrate his commitment to credible elections by ensuring that the tenure is not renewed.