The Presidency has advised Nigerians to be wary about what comes out from the opposition, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, so as not to be misled into voting for a party that sees nothing wrong with corruption.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity gave the advice when he reacted to allegations levelled against the Buhari administration by the PDP.
Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said the PDP would rather have “everyone drenched in its colours, as they irretrievably are.”
According to him, the PDP has continued spreading lies about the Buhari administration in the mistaken assumption that its toga of corruption will dissipate if it succeeded in black painting every other person as corrupt.
He said: “The strategy is to make corruption appear as normative and that everyone is equally involved. They think by so doing, Nigerians will forgive them for their sins. This is a huge mistake.
“The PDP has become an ill-wind on the country today and the elections next year present the citizens an excellent opportunity to save the country from it.
“We can’t imagine a sane organisation shamelessly telling Nigerians that President Buhari is looting, as they themselves did of the recovered loot, the $322 million lately recovered from the Abacha family. This is an irresponsible lie.”
The media aide explained that the $322 million recovered was being used to make the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of a monthly amount of N5,000 to more than 300,000 poor homes across the nation under the Social Investment Programme introduced by the Buhari administration.
He added that this was in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed between the governments of Nigeria and Switzerland as a condition for releasing the funds.
According to Shehu, as part of the MoU, the World Bank is monitoring the application of the funds, noting that the Bank has equally given an additional facility to support the on-going cash transfers.
“Nigerians are hereby advised to be watchful of what comes out from the opposition, not to be misled into voting for a party that sees nothing wrong with corruption and would rather have everyone drenched in its colours, as they irretrievably are,” he said.
Also, Shehu has warned PDP against using the President’s family a campaign issue. “Let this not be the subject for 2019 election,” he told State House Correspondents in an interaction on Wednesday.
“The PDP leadership cannot afford to make family an issue in this campaign. Need I say more? The only thing I want to add is that PDP is engaging in mud-slinging because it finds it easier than speaking on their despicable 16-year record in the course of which they abused the trust of Nigerians.
“They made a mess of everything including the economy, security and infrastructure. It has come to the destiny of President Muhammadu Buhari to correct their mistakes.
“The PDP doesn’t see anything beyond grabbing power, power at all costs. As an opposition party, they have failed. They have remained disconnected with the masses of our people. It is an irony that a party that boasted as being the largest in Africa is now begging small parties for alliances. Even if they get all those paper parties behind them, they will still fail. A Presidential contest is more than the issuance of daily press releases containing falsehoods.
“They have launched a campaign for the Presidency, a campaign that has failed to get any traction. PDP members are themselves admitting that the campaign hadn’t made a good start, that attendance at rallies had unarguably been thin. The whole thing is not working; that President Buhari is unstoppable,” Shehu said.
He continued, “rather than a so-called cabal, an imaginary creation attached to all past governments of the country, President Buhari is remote-controlled by the 200 million-plus Nigerian people whose interest is uppermost in everything he says and does.
“The PDP doesn’t have the strength and support to fight President Buhari. They don’t have the records in security, economy and the war against corruption to mount any meaningful challenge. They have no records of accomplishments in infrastructure. In the 16 years they held sway, they have nothing to show for the colossal oil revenues earned, including USD 16 billion doled upfront from the Central Bank for power, without a single megawatt to show for all that money. That is why they are dragging the President’s wife into their politics.”