…Petitions EFCC, NFIU Over Kwara APC Chairman’s Comment on Vote Buying
…Ask Agencies To Block Cash Withdrawal from Government Accounts
Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged the All Progressives Congress (APC) of scheming to fund 2023 general elections with N17billion loan kept in unknown bank by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
Kwara PDP Chairman, Hon. Muhammed Babatunde gave this hint on Thursday while addressing newsmen at the Party Secretariat in Ilorin, the State Capital.
Hon Babatunde Mohammed said the Party petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) over a recent comment of the state chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Sunday Fagbemi, that the ruling party will use the state’s treasury to defeat the political oppositions in the forthcoming general elections in the state.
The state APC chairman, over the weekend at Obbo-Aiyegunle in Ekiti local government area of the state was reported to have told the APC supporters that the APC would match funds for funds and “if it is possible the party would use state funds to defeat the opposition, PDP during the forthcoming general elections in the state”.
The comment, which was reportedly made in Yoruba language and translated into English thus: “We are in government from top to bottom for Kwara State. We have enough access to government funds such that if PDP leaders want to spend like us, they will just go bankrupt”.
His words: “…you will do well to remember the humongous loans of over fifty billion naira (N50billion) procured by the Kwara APC government in less than four years. According to the Governor, seventeen billion naira (17bn) has been put aside unused, in an unknown account and in an unknown bank. We in the PDP suspect that the N17bn must be part of the state funds that the APC Chairman was boasting about that they will use for elections. We need not mention the numerous secret grants already accessed by the Kwara APC regime. The refusal of the Governor to sign the Freedom of Information bill (FOI) after 44 months that he been in office has effectively scuttled any legal means of challenging the regime’s opaque revenue receipt and application.
“Kwarans have also witnessed blatant, careless and reckless pilfering of government funds. An example is the one hundred and thirty-eight million Naira (N138m) by a contractor, Mr Abass Abdulrazaq, purportedly released for the purchase of electric transformers. We have also been assaulted by allegations of fraud, contract padding and outright graft levelled against the Kwara State APC regime, according to various Non Governmental Organizations, like Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD).
“We in the PDP are vindicated by the unguarded statement by the Chairman of the Kwara APC. Indeed Kwarans now know the nefarious plans of the APC for the funds they have siphoned and continue to siphon from our common patrimony daily.
“lt is clear that they intend to use the funds they have pilfered to induce voters, cause confusion and undermine the electoral process in order to secure the re-election of the APC-led administration in the coming elections
“The APC needs to understand that the alleged poor performance by its administration, the failure to live up to the expectation that it has raised and its “Promise and Fail disposition is the albatross hanging on the necks of all its candidates in the 2023 elections as well as its leaders at all levels in Kwara State”.
Kwara PDP Chairman therefore urged the two anti-graft agencies to monitor and stop any illegal cash withdrawals and transfers from all Kwara state government bank accounts.
He implored Kwarans to the PDP in the February 25 national elections and March 11 state elections to save Kwara from political hawks.