Buhari, PDP in trade of words over $1bn ECA security Fund

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday called for probe of the whereabouts of the $1 billion approved in 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari to address the security challenges in the country.

It also explained that the call for investigation followed the alleged confession by the National Security Adviser, (NSA), Babagana Mongunu, who claimed he was unaware of the whereabouts or disbursement of the $1bn drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

The opposition party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan added, “The position of Mongunu as coordinator of the nation’s security architecture directly placed a huge burden on Buhari amidst reported cases of stealing and diversion of funds meant for
security.”

He also listed other security challenges amidst the alleged disappearance of the $1 billon to include: insurgency, banditry, killings and kidnapping.

 

Further, Ologbondiyan affirmed, “The revelation by NSA further vindicates the PDP on our initial alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration is overtly corrupt, deceptive and unreliable in the handling the affairs of our nation.

“It further validates the stance of the PDP that agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC were hiding under the guise of security to siphon the $1bn from the ECA.

“This, peharps, informed the desperation by the cabal to draw from the Account without recourse to statutory due process
of appropriation by the National Assembly

 

From Gen. Mongunu’s confession, Nigerians can further see why our nation
is daily confronted with disturbing videos and reports of our fighting troops protesting against negligence and inadequate equipment leading to their vulnerability in the fronts.

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“Now that the National Security Adviser has declared that he is not aware
of the whereabouts of funds, the burden, straightaway, lies squarely on
President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address the nation on how the money was handled.”

PDP, therefore, said there was need for a probe as there are already allegations in the public space that certain funds meant for security were allegedly diverted for 2019 campaign activities of the APC while our troops languished in the front.

 

Ologbondiyan also claimed that the APC administration was insincere in the handling of the ECA fund leading to our demand in 2017 for the National Assembly to investigate the handling of the $1bn.

PDP also affirmed, “The PDP hereby restates our demand that President Buhari allows for a system-wide investigation into the whereabouts of the $1bn, as well as
the handling of other funds meant for security purposes under his watch.

“Furthermore, the PDP invites Nigerians to note that such diversion of funds under the Buhari administration led to the articulation of a blueprint by Atiku Abubakar for a transparent system that eliminates
siphoning of funds, particularly in our critical sectors.”

Meanwhile, The Presidency has reacted to this Development <<<©©>>>>

The Presidency has dismissed Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) allegation that the one billion dollars drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was spent by the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the 2019 general elections.

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The Peoples Democratic Party in a statement had on Sunday asked Buhari to explain to Nigerians what his administration had done with one billion dollars drawn from the ECA in 2017 and meant to address the nation’s security challenges.

 

The amount was approved by the National Economic Council in December, 2017, to be used to purchase weapons to fight insurgency across the country.

However, Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said “this unverifiable allegation’’ clearly indicated that the PDP was suffering from socio-rmotional distress.

He said PDP ”thinks that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.

It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about 490 million dollars for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United States.

”Various other military procurements have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about 880 million dollars or so.

”The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court.

”That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

The presidential aide added that, barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurements made and the suppliers will be made available.

 

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