Following recent allegations by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that 55 former government functionaries and top businessmen stole N1.34tn from public treasury in eight years, Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday, advised the minister to either keep his mouth shut or make public the names of those involved.
He said, “The reality is that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government has destroyed the economy within eight months in power and rather than look for solutions to the problems facing Nigeria, Lai Mohammed and his cohorts are branding bogus figures about stolen money just to cover up their lack of solution to the country’s economic problems.”
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said it was disgraceful that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh was brought to court in handcuff.
He said, “Even the masterminds of Mandala and Nyanya bomb blasts, Kabiru Sokoto and Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche were not handcuffed when they were arraigned in court.”
According to him, it was funny that close to one year after it won the presidential election, the President Mohammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government was still operating as if it was campaigning for votes.
Fayose said, “They are turning governance to Nollywood, such that when one movie is about to end, they release another one. As it appears that the $2.1 billion arms deal movie is getting to an end, Lai Mohammed introduced another movie titled; N1.34 trillion loot.
“Unfortunately for them this time around, Nigerians have become tired of watching the Federal Government movies, they now want reality. Nigerians are now aware of the scam in the $2.1 billion arms deal movie having seen that the amount those already charged to court were charged with is not more than N10 billion and $2.1 billion is over N600 billion.
“Therefore, Lai Mohammed must either tell Nigerians details of the 15 former governors and 55 people that he claimed stole N1.34 trillion, where the stolen money is kept and bring back the money or apologise to Nigerians for lying.”
He described the persistent claim by the federal government that the PDP destroyed Nigeria for 16 years as hypocritical, adding that Nigerians must begin to ask which party majority of those presently ruling the country under the APC government were between 1999 and 2014.
“Majority of those who ran the Federal Government between 1999 and 2003 under the PDP are in the APC government today. President, vice president, ministers, governors, senators and House of Reps members who were part of the PDP government are now in APC. Yet, APC keeps telling Nigerians that PDP ruined the country. This hypocrisy must stop,” he said.
He therefore insisted that due process of the law must be followed in fighting corruption, noting that disobedience to court orders itself is a criminal offence that is more grievous than corruption.
He said no amount of harassment and intimidation will silence opposition in the country, saying President Buhari and his men should rather get used to the reality that opposition must exist in a democracy.