By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday, demanded immediate review of the 375 kilometre Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road reconstruction contract, following what it called “the unearthing of corrupt padding in the N797.23 billion contract recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC.”
This is even as the party called for an open probe into the alleged padding of the contract “from the original N155 billion to an outrageous and indefensible N797 billion, with a whoping N642 billion apparently earmarked to be shared among corrupt officials.”
In a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the PDP, the party noted that, “with the approved N797 billion, for a 375 kilometre road, the Buhari Presidency is claiming to be reconstructing a kilometre of road with an outrageous and inexcusable N2.12 billion; a huge slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians.”
The statement further read: “While our party restates our total support for the reconstruction of this very important road, the PDP insists that it will be against the interest of the nation to allow criminal elements in the Buhari administration to hide under the project to steal a staggering N642 billion which ought to be channeled to other projects that would benefit the people.
“Our nation was jolted by the level of corruption in the Buhari presidency wherein Mr. President could approve a fraudulent contract padding to the tune of N642 billion at the time our nation is battling with serious economic challenges and infrastructural stagnation.
“The PDP charges President Buhari to heed to the demands by Nigeria and immediately effect the review in the interest of the nation, before any releases are made.
“The review by Mr. President would douse tension already generated by the revelations of this attempt by fraudulent officials to swindle the nation as well as restore the confidence of the people in our system.
“Our party holds that the N642 billion which would recovered through the review should be channeled to fix other important roads in the region as well as other parts of our country, which have become death traps following a distressing neglect by the Buhari administration.
“Moreover, the PDP tasks the Buhari Presidency, to come clean on this blasphemous attempt to swindle our nation, by instituting and allowing an open investigation on this criminal act by relevant statutory bodies including the National Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“The PDP demands that the investigation should cover the office of the Secretary to the Federation, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing the Office of The Accountant General of the Federation, the Budget Office as well as other officials of the Buhari administration connected with the criminal contract inflation.
“What Nigerians expect now is for Mr. President to show that he has not been overwhelmed by the corruption in his Presidency by taking decisive steps to investigate the matter and ensure the prosecution of all those involved, no matter how close they are to him.”