The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday described calls by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the institution of a National Truth Commission, as diversionary tactics to stop investigation into the ongoing arms deal scandal.
The APC National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, who stated this in a statement in Abuja, stressed that this was not the time for setting up a truth commission, but a time for probe, justice and recovery of looted funds.
In the statement, entitled: “Ignore PDP’s diversionary tactics”, the governing party said the citizens should not be swayed by the latter-day anti-corruption recipes of the PDP.
It added that “these are mere diversionary tactics to earn undeserved sympathy after its government had grounded the nation’s economy to a complete halt”.
Alh. Buni said President Muhammadu Buhari remained focused, unwavering and non-selective in his anti-corruption crusade and was ready to fast track the trial of corrupt public officers.
The governing party stressed that only those who are guilty of corruption should be jittery and unconvinced that the “war on corruption is winnable”.
The APC asked the PDP to first remove the moth in its eyes by prevailing on some of its high-ranking members, who were under investigation, to cooperate with relevant agencies, rather than finding faults with the anti-corruption agenda, which had received international rating.
The statement reads: “The opposition PDP woke up from its slumber on Sunday by joining issues with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on his widely-acclaimed anti-corruption drive, especially the ongoing probe of $2 billion arms deals and mind-boggling extra-budgetary expenditures in the last five years.
“In a press release, the PDP approbated and reprobated to show that it is uncomfortable with the war against corruption by the President. While giving a tacit support for anti-corruption crusade to avoid incurring the wrath of Nigerians, it engaged in some ambiguous semantics to call for ‘an honest, holistic, and total war against corruption’.
“The body language of the PDP was clear on Sunday that it was uncomfortable with the ongoing probe of some of its stalwarts who are being investigated for looting the treasury with impunity. The opposition party must realise that the day of reckoning has come; there is no more hiding place for corrupt elements which it harbours in large number”.
The APC scribe added: “This is not the time for any National Truth Commission, it is time for probe, justice and recovery of slush and looted funds. We do not want any party to hide under any kangaroo commission to cover up its dirty leanings. Today, many Nigerians cannot afford three square meals because of the mismanagement of the economy by the previous administration.
“Overwhelmed by the shocking details of corruption, which characterized the last administration, the opposition party demanded a probe of how the All Progressives Party (APC) funded its presidential campaigns for the 2015 general elections.
“The PDP knew that APC fought and won its electoral battle basically on the goodwill of the masses. We did not fund our campaign with slush or corrupt funds; we challenge the opposition to provide evidence to the contrary.
“The 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act have provided guidelines on campaign funds. We are ready to account for every kobo spent any time we are requested to do so. We are a party noted for managing scarce resources; we are not a wasteful party like PDP.
“APC governors were not compelled to finance our presidential campaign under any guise. And no one has been made a minister in this government to cover up slush funds used for President Buhari’s campaign. The PDP must be daydreaming. If it had such allegations, why did it keep quiet during the screening and confirmation of all ministers by the Senate in its hallowed chamber?
“The opposition should stop crying over spilt milk. The era of politics of desperation is gone for good. No feeble attempt to discredit Buhari’s administration will work again. The PDP has tried all antics and failed. We urge the opposition party to join the change train in the overall interest of Nigeria”.