The Peoples Democratic Party has accused Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) of being a beneficiary of corruption.
It said that Nigerians, particularly the younger generation, were thoroughly disappointed in Osinbajo for allegedly allowing himself to be used to divert public attention from what it called the impunity and corruption that it alleged had saturated the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, that as “a professor of Law, and an occupant of the exalted seat of the Vice-President of our country, Osinbajo should know better than allowing himself to be used to bandy figures and make unguarded statements at public events.”
He cited the comment made by Osinbajo at the APC ward congress in Lagos on Saturday, where he allegedly described everyone else as “thieves.”
Osinbajo had claimed at the congress that unlike its predecessors, the present government would not steal government money.
Ologbondiyan alleged that the Vice-President had refused to bring honour to his office with his utterances.
He said, “We note that Vice-President Osinbajo has refused to heed wise counsel and accord respect to his office by desisting from such unguarded comments only because he has been sucked in and entangled in the propaganda, deception, impunity and sleaze that not only brought the administration to power, but have become its trademark in the last three years.
“We specifically invite Nigerians to note that all the assertions by the Vice-President, especially on the performance of the Buhari administration as well as his allegations and bandying of figures against the opposition, have remained unsubstantiated.
“Moreover, Nigerians have noted that Prof. Osinbajo, in his ‘sanctimony,’ has been silent on the exposed corruption under the Buhari administration, including the leaked memo detailing N9tn corrupt oil contracts at the NNPC, exposed sleaze in oil subsidy deals, diversion of Internally Displaced Persons’ intervention funds.
“These include the probe of a misappropriated N18bn in the National Emergency Management Agency under his direct supervision as well as other looting in government agencies such as the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“The Vice-President is also ominously silent about the prevailing high-handedness and human rights violations and the aloofness of government resulting in daily bloodletting in various parts of our country.”
Ologbondiyan urged Osinbajo to take heed, retreat to the inner room, and conduct a soul searching.
He said the Vice-President should also note that propaganda and false accusations were not only abhorred by the Holy Books, but would also not deliver the APC and “its incompetent administration from the resolve of Nigerians to kick them out, come 2019.”
Responding, the Presidency on Sunday said the PDP was embarking on a shameless attempt to perfect denial and defection over the large-scale corruption that characterised the past administration in the country.
It said the present administration would however remain focused and ensure that those who stole the nation’s resources under the last administration were brought to justice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in an interview with one of our correspondents in response to Ologbondiyan’s accusation that Osinbajo is a beneficiary of corruption.
He said the opposition party was making the unsubstantiated claims to confuse Nigerians and distract government from prosecuting its members accused of corruption.
The presidential spokesman said government would continue with the compilation of looters’ list and also ensure that they were vigorously prosecuted.
Akande said, “This is a shameless attempt by the PDP to perfect a strategy of denial and defection. Nigerians are well aware of their antics.
“We are talking about an administration where a sitting Central Bank governor alerted the nation to a missing $20bn. Nigerians have not forgotten.
“The attempt that the PDP is making is to deny and deflect. But we will stay focused. We are going forward in prosecuting all these criminal looting of Nigeria’s resources. We will not relent and we will bring them to account.
“We have already been listing details of the looting and the looters. We will continue to do that and we will press charges against them in court vigorously until we bring justice to Nigerians because they deserve justice.
“The second point is that the difference between us and them is that even though we are earning less, about 60 per cent less compared to the last administration, we are spending more on infrastructure. We have spent almost N1.3tn on infrastructure, the first time in this country. This is because we are not stealing like they did.
“It is possible for us to have an ambitious social investment programme where we have spent about N200bn already in two years at a time we are earning less because we are not stealing the resources of the people.
“They are bringing all these insinuations, innuendos, unsubstantiated rumour and beer parlour gists to confuse Nigerians. It is a waste of time. Let them know that we will pursue all these criminal allegations until people are convicted. That is the right of Nigerians and we will ensure that justice is brought to Nigerians.”