The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Sunday the discovery of obnoxious clauses in the Federal Government’s loan agreements with China had vindicated its position that the current administration had been secretly mortgaging the sovereignty of Nigeria to the benefit of few members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said its investigation showed that “the mortgaging of the country’s sovereignty to foreign lenders, including the $500 million loan agreement with China has been with the active connivance of the APC.
The House of Representatives said last Tuesday it discovered contentious clauses in the commercial loan agreement between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties and Agreements, Ossai Nicholas, who disclosed this at plenary, said the clauses ceded Nigeria’s sovereignty to China in the $400 million loan for the Nigeria National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project, signed in 2018.
The PDP statement read: “The PDP strongly rejects the attempts by the Buhari administration to justify this reprehensible pawning of our sovereignty to a foreign interest.
“Nigerians can recall that our party had on May 28, 2020, alerted that the Buhari administration and the APC had placed our nation on the international auction market with the accumulation of foreign loans under nebulous terms.
“The PDP declares that the APC agenda offends our corporate existence as a nation and grossly violates the fundamentals of our constitution as a self-governing state, which grants no space for any form of takeover of any of our national interests by foreigners, under any condition whatsoever.
“Such mortgaging of our sovereignty in a loan agreement is in further violation of the oath of office of the President to protect the interest of the sovereignty of our nation.
“This gambling with our sovereignty amounts to an unpardonable treachery against our nation and the future of our generations yet unborn particularly given the level of incompetence, corruption, treasury looting, as well as the betrayal of public trust by officials of the APC administration, which President Buhari had also confirmed.
“The PDP is further irked by the arrogance being displayed by some officials of the Buhari administration who, rather than being remorseful, are daring Nigerians and the National Assembly over the matter.
“The attitude of government officials including the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who instead of taking steps to reassure Nigerians, is referring to ceding of control and ownership of assets in the event of default, further raises questions regarding the reliability of the current administration.
“The PDP holds that the demand for such toxic terms by the Chinese lenders underscores the loss of confidence by the international community in the Buhari administration, whose corruption has made it so untrustworthy that lenders now demand that we cede our sovereignty as a condition.
“Nigerians reject such sovereignty-pawning clause and are not ready to mortgage any parts of our country under any guise whatsoever.
“In that regard, the PDP charges the APC administration to retrace its step and halt every action regarding the administration of the loan until all toxic clauses are deleted from the agreement.”
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