Those ganging up to unseat the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government ruined the nation’s economy, the ruling party has said.
It alerted Nigerians to be wary of those deploying what it called stolen commonwealth to fund their political activities to stage a comeback to power.
In a statement yesterday by the party’s spokesman, Mr Yekini Nabena, the party warned that such persons were regrouping to use the stolen funds to subvert the will of the people through vote buying.
Nabena, who is APC’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, urged relevant agencies to proactively get involved in tracking election financing, pointing out that those with illegally-acquired money were using it to canvass votes for elective positions.
Nabena said that Nigerians have not forgotten the yoke they bore under the “inept” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regimes and therefore deserve no more of it.
He pointed out that public funds that could have improved education, healthcare sectors and provided infrastructure to develop the economic and social life of Nigerians were in pockets of individuals.
Nabena said in the statement: “While we alert Nigerians to the plot of some politicians to buy votes and deploy other illegal means to subvert the people’s will during the coming elections, we urge relevant agencies to be proactively involved in the tracking of election financing.
“The same people who criminally-diverted public monies to fund their political activities as brazenly displayed during past administrations must be prevented from doing same in coming elections.
”Under President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, the scale of recoveries from corrupt elements in the past three years by the country’s anti-graft agencies is testament that the administration’s extensive anti-corruption drive is yielding results.
“Compared to the past, successful prosecution of many corrupt persons, the hugely-successful whistle-blowing policy and voluntary return of corruptly-acquired funds and assets have shown that it is no longer business as usual and corruption is increasingly becoming unacceptable.
“Corruption can no longer define how we do things as a country. There is a new realisation among well-meaning Nigerians that if we don’t kill corruption it will kill us.
“Recently, the media space has been awash with a campaign of calumny against the anti-corruption efforts by the same opposition partisans and their proxies that ruined the country with their institutionalised corruption. This is expected as corruption will naturally fight back.
“Sadly, these thieves have resurfaced to canvass votes of Nigerians for various elective positions, ostensibly to resume their stealing. Nigerians are neither gullible nor stupid. They have not forgotten the yoke they bore under corrupt PDP regimes and deserve no more of it.
“Public funds that could have improved the education, healthcare sectors and provided infrastructure to develop the economic and social life of Nigerians are sadly in the pockets of these thieves.
“To conclude, we share the submission of a former United States (U.S.) Vice President, Joe Biden: ‘Corruption is a cancer; a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity… it wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs’.
“We must continue to challenge corruption and its related vices. This is line with the Change Agenda APC promised Nigerians. This is a promise we are committed to keep.”
But PDP spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan accused the ruling party of shielding members of questionable characters.
He said: “We urge APC to begin its fight against corruption from Buhari Presidency where the most iniquitous felons enjoy presidential cover.
“Mr Buhari can demonstrate this anti-corruption fight by mandating EFCC to immediately commence the arraignment of Babachir Lawal.”