The ruling party, All Progressives Congress says the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari’s government is neither selective nor partisan.
John Odigie-Oyegun, chairman of the APC, reiterated this claim in an interview with The Punch, where he noted that Peoples Democratic Party chieftains are being investigated because most of them received funds from Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser.
He said that when the former NSA was sharing money “from his ATM machine”, he didn’t extend an invitation to members of the opposition party.
Dasuki, who has been in custody since 2015, is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged diversion of funds meant to fight the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Prosecution depends on evidence. Once there is evidence, if anyone has evidence, let him provide it. This generalised rumour is not basis for serious action of that type. And in any case, there are a few APC leaders who are being called to question. It is not as one sided as it seems and it is not something to be apologetic for”, Oyegun said.
“When the then National Security Adviser was disbursing funds from his Automated Teller Machine, he did not call an opposition person to say take money. So, it’s a natural course of events. This administration- if anybody can read; the President will not mind whose ox is gored so long as justice is done. It just happens that as at now, those whose hands are found in the till happen to be preponderantly in the PDP. But you can see that a lot of other investigations are ongoing and quite a few involve some APC leaders.”
Oyegun also said the ruling party is not interested in an opposition that is enmeshed in crisis, insisting that the APC is not in any way responsible for the internal strife in the PDP.
“All I can say is that they cannot eat their cake and have it. When their factional chairman left us, they were celebrating, they were happy saying oh, we’ve got a big fish. Now that they see the kind of man he is, they are crying wolf. We have nothing to do with the travails of the PDP because in reality; we want a virile opposition. We want an opposition that is responsible, that has ideas to contribute.
“They have failed to do this so far. So, it is not of any value to us that they are heating up and that they are losing the little bit of the sense of direction they had left. They are just looking for a scape goat. We have absolutely no interest in what is going on in the PDP. If you recall, we once urged their members who were trooping into the APC -as soon as we won the election- to remain in their party to give us the kind of opposition that will strengthen our democracy.
“This shows we mean well for them. We asked them to go and re-engineer themselves and be as we were- a responsible opposition party. I just pray for them and hope that they will be able to rediscover themselves, to be able to start the process of rebuilding themselves. Maybe, it is even good that what is happening is happening, because it will give us the time to take the tough decisions that the country which they ruined requires.”
The APC chieftain further stressed that the federal government isn’t investigating the campaign finds expended by the PDP, but rather, public funds that were pumped into the 2015 election.
Oyegun said individual donors, businesses and companies who contributed the election campaign of the PDP aren’t under investigation.
“That is not the issue. There is a great misunderstanding. We are not investigating PDP campaign funds. We are investigating records as to how public funds were hijacked for illegal purposes which were not budgeted for by the National Assembly. Nobody in business who contributed a lot of money has been dragged to any tribunal because he gave PDP funds.
“Public funds, public resources, money that belongs to you, me and the people of this country were stolen and diverted. Crude oil was being illegally sold to fund the campaigns and other political activities. Not just the campaigns, people just shared money and pocketed.
“It’s not company XYZ limited giving PDP X amount and about being dragged before EFCC, that is not what is going on. Anybody who steals from the treasury either to fund campaign, or to put in his pocket or to buy an estate in every part of the world would be asked questions. It must not be allowed. Nobody must be allowed to get away with that. It is not the same with campaign funding. We are not investigating PDP campaign funds.”