$1bn Arms Fund: PDP Calls Out Buhari Presidency, Says Nigeria Has Been Swindled

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the comment by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) that billions disbursed for procurement of arms for counter-terrorism operations could not be traced and the arms the funds were meant for have not been seen.

Monguno had made the comment in an interview with BBC Hausa.

However, the presidency and the NSA’s office later claimed that Monguno was misquoted, although a translation of the interview done by TheCable showed otherwise.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said that the fresh revelation by the NSA further “validated the anxieties in the public space that the money, which was in 2017 sneaked out from the national coffers without appropriation, has since been diverted to private purses of corrupt APC leaders and the criminal cabal in the Buhari Presidency”.

According to the party, the uncontradicted revelation of the NSA “leaves no one in doubt that the Buhari Presidency has become a parlor of corruption for fraudsters, criminal cabals and treasury looters, who have been pillaging our national coffers under executive cover.

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“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.”

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

The statement further read, “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.”

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