The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the National Assembly to commence appropriate legislative actions against President Muhammadu Buhari for unilaterally approving the release of $1billion from the national coffers to fight insurgency in the country without legislative approval.
The party also demanded for an independent investigation into the processes of release and utilization of special funds for war against insurgency in the last three years. The PDP, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, alleged that the $1 billion fund was to be used to finance President Buhari’s interests in the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s national convention and 2019 campaign. “It is a notorious fact that the presidency and the APC have been plotting to loot this $I billion from our heavily depleted Excess Crude Account (ECA) since last year, using the guise of fight against insurgency.
“This is the same Buhari administration that has been boasting of having technically defeated the insurgents. This is also an administration that is not known to have exhausted subsisting budgetary allocations for defence,” the PDP said. The party said its investigation has revealed that the presidency willfully sidetracked the National Assembly, so as to avoid legislative scrutiny and accountability and pave way for the diverting of the fund for selfish partisan purposes. The party wondered why the president, who had sworn to protect the constitution, would fall to the temptation of resorting to ways and means which were totally at variance with the laws and all democratic tenets.
“Democracy thrives on constitutional processes of separation of powers, due diligence and transparency and not on totalitarian tendencies. “PDP believes the president, as a leader, reasonably ought to have known that he is, in no way, above the law. “We, therefore, urge the National Assembly to look into the constitution and impose appropriate legislative instruments against Mr. President, if any part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has been breached by this unilateral decision,” the party said.
“We further urge the National Assembly to scrutinize the constitution and other statute books for the purposes of strengthening the laws guiding the application of funds in our country, particularly under this inherently corrupt and incompetent administration,” the party said. PDP further alleged that the Buhari administration has been using the fight against insurgency as a conduit to siphon funds. “The APC is in shreds and has lost the enormous goodwill that brought it to power in 2015 after failing in all its promises to Nigerians,” the statement added.
But neither the presidency nor the All Progressives Congress reacted to the call as at press time last night. Calls to the Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullaji and presidential spokesmen, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu by our correspondents were not answered.