The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of deceiving the people South East and South South by diverting funds meant for developmental projects in the regions, for private political use.
The campaign of the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, made the allegation Tuesday during a press conference addressed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in Abuja.
Quoting Mr. Buhari, the party accused President Jonathan’s government of “waste and corruption”.
“On contemporary national issues, we wish to draw the attention of well-meaning Nigerians to the deceit, squandermania and looting associated with this (Mr. Jonathan) administration,” he said.
He said Mr. Jonathan’s promise to complete the East-West road, whose rehabilitation began in 2006 under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, by 2013, never materialised.
“It is pertinent to note that appropriations were made for the construction (of the East-West road) in 2009 and 2010, but after Yar’Adua’s death, work stopped on the road and money set aside was diverted.
“I have gone to this length to illustrate to you that the construction of this road has lingered due to the lacklustre approach of the Jonathan administration. Their initial promise to complete the road by 2013 never materialized and till today the East-West road is yet to be completed,” he said.
Continuing, the spokesperson recalled that Mr. Jonathan anchored his campaign in the South-East on the promise he would rehabilitate the Second Niger Bridge, “but four years down the line, we are now realizing that the bridge is still at the drawing board table and may not be realized after all under Jonathan. We recall that the money set aside for the project was channelled into the Presidential election of President Goodluck Jonathan.”
“Contrary to the strident efforts of the Jonathan team to assure the people of the South East that the Second Niger Bridge has been awarded and now under construction, the truth is that the PDP administration is only deceiving the people,” Mr. Garba averred.
He queried the rationale behind the adoption of public private partnership in the construction of the bridge at “triple the real cost”, stressing that the Federal Government could have borne the full cost since the project “falls under the social project between government and the people.”
“If this arrangement is not reversed, and the Federal Government takes full responsibility for the funding, the implication is that the South East people will perennially remain at the mercy of the investors for a period not limited to 25 years in the first instance,” the Buhari campaign spokesperson said.
He accused Mr. Jonathan of truncating the dredging of River Niger and Onitsha Seaport project, said to have been inaugurated by late President Umar Yar’Adua.
“To further demonstrate that President Jonathan has serially failed the South East, we want to put it on record that late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had commenced and indeed reached an advanced stage in the dredging of River Niger, and construction of Onitsha seaport.
“Regrettably this was again truncated by Jonathan as till today the seaport which is expected to promote economic development in the region and beyond is yet to take off and the dredging stopped.”
Saying corruption is anathema to any form of development; Mr. Shehu stressed that, “General Buhari with a sterling record of fighting corruption will spare no effort in ensuring that Nigerians have value for their commonwealth”
On women’s rights and participation in government, he noted that much had been said about Mr. Buhari not having women in his agenda should he win the April 28 presidential election, but Mr. Sheu dismissed the claim, saying the APC presidential candidate “is not a male chauvinist, and he has a definite and robust programme for women if elected President.”