The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to reject and deject the recent approval of $1 billion (approx. N370 billion) for the purchase of arms by President Muhammadu Buhari. The opposition party also urged the National Assembly to commence appropriate constitutional legislative actions against President Buhari for gross misconduct in unilaterally approving the release of the funds without recourse to the lawmakers.
The party in a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the approval as a “renewed attempt by the Presidency to loot $1billion.”
This money, it added, would be used by the government to finance Mr Buhari‘s ”interests in the upcoming All Progressives Congress (APC)’s national convention and 2019 election campaign.”
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Ali, revealed yesterday while speaking with journalists at the end of a security meeting that Mr Buhari had approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.
According to the PDP, its investigation revealed the presidency ”willfully sidestepped the National Assembly so as to avoid legislative scrutiny and accountability to pave way for the diverting of the fund for selfish partisan purposes.”
“It is a notorious fact that the presidency and the APC have been plotting to loot this $1 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.
“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.”