$1bn Arms fund: Nigeria has been swindled, says PDP | Dailytrust

$1bn Arms fund: Nigeria has been swindled, says PDP

Kola Ologbondiyan
Kola Ologbondiyan

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that Nigeria has been swindled by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The party said this while reacting to the revelation of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), that a huge amount of money approved for purchase of arms to fight terrorism cannot be traced.

In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the fresh revelation by the NSA validates the anxieties in the public space that the $1 billion, “which was in 2017 sneaked out from the national coffers without appropriation”, has since been diverted to private purses of corrupt leaders and the criminal cabal in the Buhari Presidency”.

The statement read: “Nigerians could see how officials of the Buhari Presidency have been struggling to divert attention from this huge swindle by claiming that the money was spent for the purchase of 12 Super Tucano planes, which it also claimed would be delivered in 2020, only for the NSA to now declare that the entire fund cannot be traced.

“Four years down the line, nobody has seen the Super Tucano planes and no explanation has been given by the Buhari Presidency over the whereabouts of the money.

“Our party recalls how, instead of offering explanations when the issue was first raised in July 2019, the Buhari Presidency resorted to hurling insults on the PDP and other patriotic citizens, while making hollow, disjointed and uncoordinated claims, which the NSA’s assertion has now exposed to be lies and fabrications.

“It is indeed shameful that President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over a security architecture where funds provided by his Presidency for purchase of arms has vanished into thin air while our citizens and gallant troop in the front are left at the mercies of terrorists and insurgents.

“While it is common knowledge that this administration is into treasury looting, our party asserts that stealing money meant for purchase of arms to protect the people is an unpardonable sacrilege.

“Perhaps this could be part of the reason the Buhari administration and the APC leadership of the Senate hurriedly conferred diplomatic immunity to the erstwhile service chiefs, under whose command the humongous sum grew wings.

“Our party insists that President Buhari, as the commander-in-chief, must take the full responsibility of explaining the whereabouts of the money as the buck stops only on his table. Furthermore, the PDP urges the NSA to commence a system wide investigation as well as place certain APC leaders and their cronies in the Presidency under watch to ensure that none of them escapes from the country to evade justice.

“Moreover, beyond the on-going investigation in the House of Representatives, our party calls for a joint public hearing of the National Assembly to investigate the whereabouts of the $1bn as well as other monies meant for security purposes under President Buhari’s watch.”