The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has ordered Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to “keep quiet” if he cannot mention names of those he claims looted the treasury while in power.
Mr. Osinbajo, had said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will not stop talking about the corruption in former president Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Giving his reason he said “because we must let our people know that we cannot afford to go this way again.”
Osinbajo stated this at the 10th annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium, organised to commemorate the birthday of the former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu.
“Let me reiterate that from all I have seen in government in the past three years, the corruption of the previous five years is what destroyed the Nigerian economy,” he said at the event.
“Every time we talk about corruption, our opponents say don’t talk about it just do your own. Don’t talk about it. The Yoruba have an adage: ‘when the matter become that of tails, the frog will say let us keep it and don’t talk about it”. We would talk about it. And the reason why we would talk about it is because we must let our people know that we cannot afford to go this way again. Never again should we allow a system where people take the resources and steal the resources of this country, use the resources against the people and at the same time they want to continue in rulership,” he added.
Mr Osinbajo said the ruling APC got into government with the determination to change the prevailing narrative of Nigeria as a corrupt country and the government is bent on seeing that those who stole from the public treasury will be made to face the music.
“When we began this journey in 2014, our party the APC was determined to change the dominant narrative of the country. We were determined to ensure that the notion of a country rich in natural resources and even richer in human capital but being destroyed daily by corruption and impunity in the looting public resources will have to change that narrative.”
“We saw a nation where a few impostors have so privatised the commonwealth that while oil prices were at their highest and we were getting growth figures as high as 70 per cent, the majority of the people remained extremely poor.”
He said the government and the ruling party must show that it was different from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was in power for 16 years, by investing more in people and infrastructure instead of enriching a few people.
But reacting, PDP accused Osinbajo of not being bold enough to mention names of those he claimed stole public funds.
The party through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said the vice president was only fond of bandying figures he cannot trace to a personality in the PDP.
While featuring on a programme on Channels Television, Thursday evening, Mr. Ologbondiyan cautioned the vice president to either “keep quiet” or present a list of PDP members who amassed wealth through illegal means.
“We want to caution the Vice-President that he should stop bandying figures. Anytime the Vice-President has the opportunity to face the camera, he begins to announce figures that he cannot support.”
“Our advice to him is that as a professor of law, he knows the pathway to follow when you accuse somebody of corruption. We challenge him to stop bandying figures but he should mention names of those who he claimed corrupted themselves. And if he cannot mention their names and he cannot charge them to court and he cannot cause their arrest and he cannot even list these people, he should keep quiet.”
“Why can’t they come out and say in the last three years, we have done these, we have done that? All they do is to come back and say the last 10 years of the PDP, last five years of PDP. Is that what Nigerians are asking?”
“As far as we are concerned in PDP, until the Vice-President comes out clean and says that your party members by so names corrupted themselves to the tune of so amount, you don’t expect us as a party to begin to respond.”
“Don’t forget, the PDP established all the anti-corruption agencies in the country. Name it; EFCC, ICPC and whatever agency you think about. They were established by the PDP. PDP remains the only party in our modern democracy that have tried its members for corruption charges.”
“Our people challenged the government of which Prof. Osinbajo is Vice-President that the corrupt money they are looking for is what they spent to bring them into government that is the position of PDP.”
“If they are searching for corruption money, if they are searching for people who stole money, they should look inwards, that the position of PDP.”
“If they are current members of the rebranded and repositioned PDP, declare them so, but if they are hiding under villa protection and you are busy going around villages and towns announcing that PDP stole money, you are being unfair and you are not acting like a man of God. That is the position of PDP,” he said.