APC, PDP at war over diversion of military funds

  The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday sharply disagreed on the alleged diversion of military funds to finance President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election project. PDP had, on Monday, accused the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), of diverting funds meant for the military equipment and welfare of soldiers fighting insurgency in the North-East, for the production of campaign materials for APC.  

“Our party considers it insensitive and a gross impunity for the Minister of Defence to be engaging in patronising souvenirs for President Buhari at a time when our soldiers are being killed in their numbers,” PDP said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan. But APC, through its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, accused PDP of trying to score cheap political points now that elections approach.
  The party noted that the allegation was “a sad reminder of the evil and retrogressive practices PDP was notorious for during its defunct rule. “It is clear that PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have decided to dance on the graves of our valiant and patriotic soldiers by politicising their deaths in the recent Boko Haram attack on the Nigerian Army’s Metele base.”

  APC also accused PDP and its presidential candidate of “playing desperate politics where even the blood of our fallen heroes is fair game. “Their actions are callous and insensitive to the families and dependants of the late soldiers and, indeed, our military, which battles daily to ensure our territorial integrity,” the ruling party stated.

  APC urged officers and men of the Nigerian Army to remain focussed on the task of securing the nation, assuring that the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration remains solidly committed to bringing lasting peace and security to all parts of the country. It further assured that APC would not apply such morbid practice as brazenly displayed during PDP administration where funds allocated to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East were allegedly shared among the then ruling party’s leaders and their cronies. PDP, however, described APC’s defence as reprehensible, adding that the party’s stand has demonstrated that it attaches no value to the lives of the soldiers or other Nigerians, but more interested in funeral ceremonies and floating over the graves of its victims

  The party wondered why APC would attempt to wave off the revelations that officials of the Presidency were allegedly diverting funds meant for military equipment and welfare of the soldiers to finance Mr. President’s re-election campaign. “If APC were not jittery over revelations that it is a core beneficiary of this evil racket, why is it rushing to defend the minister of defence on findings that he diverted military funds to produce campaign materials for APC, including an electronic memento, with APC logo boldly inscribed on them?

  “APC, in its hallucination, forgot that Nigerians  already know that the neglect of the Presidency led to the killing of our soldiers and that the president and APC had remained unconcerned and only started shedding crocodile tears after a public outcry on the killing and their ominous silence,” the statement said. It challenged APC to explain to Nigerians why it took President Buhari, as commander-in-chief, a whole week to express “shock” over the killing of over 100 soldiers.

  “Does that not portray our president as a commander who has abandoned his troops and cares less of happenings in the front? “What has APC to say to the fact that the Presidency failed to act on the threats by insurgents to attack the military base days before the deadly invasion and killing of our soldiers? “What has APC to say to the fact that at the time our soldiers were being attacked by insurgents, our service chiefs were busy participating in President   Buhari’s re-election campaign rally and launch of Next Level mantra, stolen from a foreign institute?

  “What has APC to say to the fact that instead of being at the forefront of investigations, our minister of defence was busy using military funds to produce campaign souvenirs for President Buhari and APC?

“It is therefore an unpardonable assault on the sensibility of Nigerians for APC to, in anyway, attempt to justify President Buhari’s negligence and inaction toward the welfare of our soldiers as well as the diversion of military fund for Mr. President’s re-election campaign at the expense of the lives of Nigerians,” PDP stated. It added that if APC is not complicit in this heinous crime against the nation, it should join PDP in demanding for a National Assembly inquest into the killing and the handling of anti-insurgency funds under President Buhari, instead of this resort to hypocritical posturing.

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