The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Thursday criticised the Federal Government for “misleading Nigerians” with information suggesting security operatives had rescued some of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in Yobe State.
The terrorist group had attacked Government Girls Secondary School Dapchi, Monday evening. “We have authentic information that the girls have not been rescued,” said the PDP, insisting: “as we speak, reports say about 94 students are still missing.”
The party condemned the Federal Government’s handling of national challenges, saying: “Nigeria, today, is at the crossroads. The economy is in tatters. The security situation has become a nightmare. Killer herdsmen are competing with Boko Haram and kidnappers on who would inflict the most pain on hapless Nigerians. The nation is in crisis and is sliding towards a terrible direction.”
Also reacting to the girls’ abduction, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose advised the Federal Government to stop “lying concerning the fight against Boko Haram insurgents because it has now become the tradition that whenever the government boasts of defeating the insurgents, greater havoc is wreaked on the country.”
He expressed regret that despite repeated claims by the Federal Government that it had “technically” and “completely defeated” Boko Haram, the sect still staged the abduction of 94 students in one day.
In a statement by his spokesman, Lere Olayinka, in Ado Ekiti, Fayose said his heart “goes out to those 46 students that are yet to be found,” urging the Federal and Yobe State Government to do “all within their powers” to rescue the girls.
The European Union (EU) meanwhile described the abduction as an attack on humanity, expressing solidarity with the affected families and the entire country.
“The EU remains committed to supporting the government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and all forms of criminality. We stand resolute to continue our humanitarian and development work, including the rights and protection of girls,” the organisation said in a statement yesterday by Catherine Ray, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Apart from the abduction, Fayose knocked the anti-corruption campaign of the current administration, saying: “Transparency International (TI) only confirmed what I have said before that President Buhari is only hiding under the anti-corruption fight to harass his perceived political foes while protecting corrupt people in his government.”
A fresh report by TI, ranked Nigeria 148th out of 180 countries on its Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Nigeria was rated 136th in 2017. “Transparency International has placed a question mark on the president’s claim to integrity. The fact is that President Buhari is presiding over the worst form of corruption in the history of Nigeria. And the good thing is that despite their propaganda, they have not been able to hide the rot in their government from the eagle eyes of international organisations like Transparency International,” said Fayose.
The governor noted that Nigerians have been confronted with “messy revelations like the fraudulent reinstatement of Abdullahi Maina, alleged award of $25 billion contracts without following due process, Attorney-General of the Federation’s declaration that the EFCC lacked evidence to prove its allegations of sharp practices against prominent players in the Malabu Oil deal; and alleged re-looting of exotic properties recovered from alleged looters of pension funds; even the Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, was indicted by the Department of State Services for corruption.”
He concluded: “The reality, as revealed by Transparency International, is that the Federal Government under President Buhari is using APC’s broom to sweep corruption involving top functionaries of the government under the carpet, while setting lions on opposition figures, even on a mere rumour of corruption.”
The PDP, which held its 78th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday, also said that the TI report proved that corruption has worsened under the Buhari-led administration and has vindicated the PDP’s position that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government is overtly corrupt.
By this new report, the African Union (AU) must have now realised its error in naming Buhari as its anti-corruption champion. It should immediately withdraw the conferment, the party said.
“What has the APC government to say when the world is aware that it is complicit in shady oil subsidy deals amounting to trillions of naira by its cabal, which has also been fingered to be behind the illegal lifting and diversion of crude worth N1.1 trillion to service APC interests?
“The world is now aware of the diversion of billions of naira meant for the fight against insurgency and the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by the presidency cabal; the concealment of theft, by the cabal, of billions of naira at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), among other heavy sleazes around the presidency.
“As we speak, the APC administration has increased taxes, levies and tariffs without a transparent remitting regime, while funds said to have been recovered in the anti-graft war have not been adequately accounted for.
”The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) also faulted the government’s fight against corruption, saying progress has not been made.
At a press briefing in Abuja, Thursday, CISLAC Executive Director Auwal Ibrahim Musa said the TI report confirms that grand corruption persists in the country at all levels.
He said: “Unless the justice system expedites politically exposed cases and forfeits meaningful amounts of recovered assets; unless the National Assembly stops political boycott of key appointments and passes much-needed legislation; and unless there is a tangible strategy of the government to damage-control shocking plundering of public resources, public perception on anti-corruption is unlikely to improve.”
He expressed disappointment that for an administration, which came to power on the anti-corruption ticket, “no significant politically exposed person has been duly sentenced on anti-corruption charges.”