***as PDP senators accuse Buhari of selective arrests
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has challenged the Muhamadu-Buhari-led government to probe notable corrupt leaders who belong to the All Progressive Congress, APC, if he is serious in his fight against corruption.
The party lamented that the Federal government has only targeted members of the PDP in its anti-corruption campaign.
Acting national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, made this position known at a briefing held at Legacy House (the party’s campaign office in Abuja).
Secondus challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to go after corrupt leaders and members of the All Progressive Congress.
He said, “So far, statistics has shown that EFCC has only arrested members of our party, those who have served in the previous government.
“But there are APC governors and members, who have served various governments, they have been left alone.
“We believe that a government that is serious with anti-corruption crusade cannot be one-sided or selective. It should be holistic,” Secondus said.
“We have seen on the pages of newspapers allegation from Lagos and Rivers states on the ex-governors. What is EFCC doing to those allegations”, Secondus said.
Speaking on the Party’s National Working committee NWC, the acting chairman, assured that the NWC would work with the PDP Senate leadership to make sure that they were successful.
He stated that from the inauguration of the Senate to the election of the Senate leadership, the NWC was pleased with the process and those elected.
Also answering question on the allegation that the NWC spent 12 billion within nine months, Secondus said that the figure was not correct.
He said, “what is correct is that from the sales of forms, we raised over N11 billion.”
“According to our party’s guideline and constitution, this N11 billion was meant to be shared among the states, local governments and the zones.
“The local government will have five per cent, the states; 10 per cent, and the zones; five per cent. That means 20 per cent is taken away from that.
“You are also aware that people went on assignment about 15 per cent is also taken away, the rest I can tell you was used for our campaign and elections.
“No body, no member of the NWC has embezzled any money,” Secondus said.
He added that the Staff Welfare Association who made the allegation had apologised through its letter to the NWC.
“We raise our money and we used our money, that is the correct thing,” Secondus added.
Earlier, the Senate’s Minority Whip, Senator Godswill Akpabio who also led the PDP Senate caucus to the briefing, noted that though the party supports the APC-led Federal Government’s crusade against corruption, it was not happy with the impression being given that it is targeted at PDP loyalists and states.
Akpabio said: “The current war lacks transparency, fairness to all and appears to be aimed at political adversaries.
“It is on this ground that we condemn in particular what is happening in Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Abia States where election umpires are daily arrested, their families and associates hounded, and judicial officers involved in election tribunals intimidated and questioned using trumped up petitions bordering on corruption.
“Yet, these officials were part of the 2015 elections that produced President Buhari, an election adjudged to be generally free and fair by the international community.”
He also condemned what he described as interference of the Department of the State Security Services (DSS) in the electoral matter by detaining INEC officials only in states being controlled by PDP.
He listed Akwa-Ibom, Abia and Rivers as states most harassed by the DSS while INEC officials in APC controlled states were not invited for interrogation.
“Reports reaching the caucus has it that INEC officials are being forced by the DSS to produce falsified documents to support APC candidates cases before the tribunals,
“This is abominable and unacceptable. Mr. President and all well-meaning Nigerians must intervene to preserve the independence of the tribunals and that of INEC,”
Akpabio also added that “No country in the world can claim they have a democracy when it does not have vibrant and viable opposition, so any group aiming to kill opposition party does not believe in democracy.”