2019: It will be double tragedy if Nigerians vote PDP again – Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed [Photo: Daily Trust]

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Sunday said it will be double tragedy if Nigerians allowed the PDP to come back to power in 2019.

Mr. Mohammed made this known while addressing journalists at a press conference in Lagos, according to a statement from his spokesperson.

The minister, who spoke on President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, said nothing shows the rot of the past more than the level of corruption which the present administration inherited from the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

He said, “Our commonwealth was looted with impunity by the same people who now say they want to come back. Indeed, it will not just be a tragedy, but a double tragedy, if we ever allow these same people to preside over our commonwealth.

“Where do we start? Do we want a Diezani back as Petroleum Minister, after the recovery of at least 43 million dollars and 56 houses from this one person? Do we want the 2.9 billion dollars – that’s about one-eighth of the 2018 Budget – that has been successfully traced and recovered from looters by the EFCC since the inauguration of the present administration, to be re-looted?

“What about the 151 million dollars and N8 billion in looted funds that have been recovered from just three sources as a direct result of the introduction of the whistle-blower policy? Do we want them to be re-looted?”

The minister explained that under the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board, JAMB, only remitted an aggregate of 51 million Naira but in September 2017, the same JAMB announced it was ready to remit 7.8 billion Naira back to the government.

“Do we want JAMB to go back to remitting 51 million Naira?” he queried.

Commenting further, Mr. Mohammed noted that the PDP in its time lacked the political will to implement the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which it started, adding that Mr. Buhari’s administration is now fully implementing the TSA.

“Three trillion Naira, almost half of the estimated revenue in the 2018 budget, has accrued to Government with the enforcement of the TSA policy,” he said.

“There is more: With the elimination of thousands of ghost workers, we have saved 120 billion Naira. We have removed the 108 billion Naira in maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA; and monthly we are saving 24.7 billion Naira with our determined implementation of the TSA.

“We must also never forget the alleged diversion of 2.1 billion dollars earmarked for arms purchase by officials of the immediate-past administration.”

The minister added that as the pace of politics gradually picks up ahead of 2019, it is important that we let Nigerians know the enormous progress that the Buhari administration has made in just a little over two years, and to also remind them of where the country was dumped by the PDP in 2015.

The minister, however, debunked claims that the government plans to arrest some opposition members, saying there was no iota of truth to the allegation.

“Are there still up to 50 people in the tottering PDP? Seriously, the guilty are afraid (according to the title of one of James Hadley Chase novels). Let those who have plundered our treasury face the music, if they must,” he noted.

“Finally, this Administration is cleaning up the Augean Stable of the PDP years. It’s been a tough task but we are determined and we are succeeding. It is a mark of the contempt in which the PDP holds Nigerians that the party is even talking of returning to power, even when the rot it left behind is yet to be totally cleared. Never again must Nigeria be bedevilled by a rapacious, impunity-prone and plunderous party like the PDP.”

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