4th February, 2015
The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has challenged Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to speak up on the allegation of missing N30 trillion under her watch by former Central Bank Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo.
In a signed statement in Abuja on Tuesday by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, APCPCO condemned the blanket of secrecy surrounding the transactions that led to the wanton waste of the country’s scarce resources under the Jonathan administration.
“Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should speak up on this allegation of epic proportion. She has the responsibility to give an account of the management of the nation’s resources under her watch.
“It is not enough for Okonjo-Iweala to boast of rebasing the economy and declaring it the largest in Africa, without a concurrent reduction in poverty and unemployment or infrastructure development in the country.
“It is ironic that rather than tackle the accusation from Soludo, the Finance Minister has been canvassing a stance in the media that Nigerians should brace up for a hard time to come as the economy is nose-diving.
“Only last year, the workforce of several MDAs could not receive their salaries to celebrate the Yuletide season due to government inefficiency. A recent African Union report also alleges that billions of naira is illicitly taken out of our economy annually.
“Thirty trillion naira will fund the generation of 22,000 megawatts of electricity, which is well in excess of the current national power demand of 15,000 megawatts, among other pressing needs.”
Shehu assured that General Muhammadu Buhari if given the mandate to pilot the affairs of the country will wage an unrelenting battle against corruption and wastages in the system and that the recouped monies would go a long way in funding some of the initiatives of an APC administration.
Meanwhile, the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation has observed the gathering of individuals, better dubbed – Association of Jonathan-Organised National Conference Attendees – with the sole objective of truncating the general elections, particularly the February 14 presidential poll, thus preventing an embarrassing shellacking for their benefactor, President Goodluck Jonathan.
The APCPCO said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday signed by Garba Shehu, Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign, that it is more galling that one of these people, with a history of armed insurrection by way of attempted military putsch against a united Nigeria, had the effrontery to offer admonition against the conduct of election, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended for the virility of the Nigerian state.
The APCPCO warned that it is possible for a non discerning Nigerian to conflate the ostensible reasons of this group of unpatriotic zealots from their real motives.
“The ostensible reason of insecurity in some parts of the country, though seemingly valid, pales into insignificance when put side by side with their real reasons. The fact of insecurity of lives and property, which has consigned a portion of the nation state to a ragtag insurgency group, is in itself, a huge indictment of the government in failing in its primary responsibility as contemplated in Section 14 of 1999 Constitution as amended,” Shehu said.
“Should a government that has shown such insouciance to the security and welfare of the people be compensated with longer duration than contemplated by the statute book? Of course, we are aware that these unpatriotic elements are doing this piece of execrable endeavour to rebuild their stomach infrastructure that had been pulled down after the cessation of free funding following the completion of the national conference!
“We have rightly observed that this is Nigeria’s season of anomie. All shades of ill-mannered and self-centered behaviour can be seen in once respected people. It is our hope that Nigerians shall not be swayed into believing them on account of their previous service.
“We want to call the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the repeated calls for the postponement of the forthcoming presidential election. We do not have any difficulty to discern that these groups are working out the script of some agents in the ruling party. We also want to call on the security agencies in the country to stop any further public parade by this outlawed group.”
According to Shehu, “let us remind Nigerians that the power of our democracy has been tested in the past by this outlawed group during the June 12, 1993 presidential election and our democracy won and will win again. No person or any faceless group of corrupt individuals can stop an idea which time has come. Nigerians made the call for a change in the country and the will of the people must prevail on February 14.
“We do not entertain any iota of doubt in our minds that this current attempt to scuttle democracy is because of the impending defeat staring the ruling party in the face. The same individuals who scuttled democracy through the instrumentality of the ABN (Association for Better Nigeria) are at their game again. They failed in the past and they will fail again.
“The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation had rejected and continues to reject any suggestion, proposals or insinuation to postpone the February 14 presidential election by a single day.
“Needless to say that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shown its preparedness to conduct the February elections and very necessary for all Nigerian patriots to rally behind the Electoral body in accomplishing the onerous task of delivering a good election!
“We hereby call on Nigerians to ignore the scare mongering of these elements and remain focused on the desired change that should see to the birth of a new nation where no man is oppressed.”