The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused officials of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of plots to cover-up their alleged criminal diversion of COVID-19 funds and palliatives.
The party said that the design of the “indicted federal government officials” was to use the invasion of CACOVID palliative warehouses to escape investigation into their reported “stealing and criminal diversion of funds and palliatives provided by the Federal Government to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The PDP particularly said that it was appalled by the scandalous attempt by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, to create an impression that the CACOVID palliatives besieged in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest were the same federal government palliatives for which she was required to give account.
Farooq, reacting to the looting of COVID-19 palliatives in different states of the federation has said that she had forgiven those who accused her of hoarding COVID-19 palliatives meant for poor citizens.
But in a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said:
“Our party wants to inform the minister that such infantile antics cannot sway Nigerians, as the public is already aware that CACOVID palliatives came from donations from wells meaning individuals and organizations which is completely different from the N500 billion voted by the federal government, which has not been accounted for.
“If anything, this attempt by the minister to muddle-up issues and confuse Nigerians only goes to validate allegations of stealing and diversion of funds and palliatives provided by the Federal Government and placed under her purview.
“Of course, the CACOVID palliatives has nothing to do with the alleged stealing and diversion of funds in the cash disbursement of N20,000 to undocumented beneficiaries leading to widespread outcry by Nigerians that bulk of the money may have been diverted.
“The embattled minister has not explained the reason for the obvious circumventing of statutory public finance report system and appropriate documentations by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), leading to the alleged diversion of funds to private purses.
“Also, the CACOVID palliatives have nothing to do with the billions of naira claimed to have been spent on school feeding at a time the schools were shut and school children were in their respective homes in different locations across the country.
“It is revealing to state that our party had earlier gotten winds of allegations in the public space that some indicted federal officials compromised arrangements at CACOVID warehouses to trigger an invasion by agitating Nigerians, as a decoy to frustrate investigation into the alleged stealing and diverting of federal government palliatives by government officials.”
The PDP went further to say that the supposed attempt to cover corruption places remained a huge burden on the Buhari-led administration and “we call on Mr. President to come clean on the handling of Federal Government funding on COVID-19.”
The party added, “The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development should therefore end her unnecessary showboating and self-exoneration and get ready to give account of the allegedly diverted billions of naira provided by the Federal Government for COVID-19 palliatives instead of seeking to hide under CACOVID palliatives looting.”
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