Following the uproar that greeted the alleged oversized 1411 delegates to the ongoing COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the federal government, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged President Bola Tinubu to disclose the roll call and cost incurred on the trip.
The main opposition party disclosed that this incident was a further validation that “the Tinubu-led APC administration is wasteful, frivolous and reckless in the application of the scarce resources of the nation, especially at a time when Nigerians are yearning for prudent management of resources to achieve the desired infrastructural regeneration, job creation and revamping of the economy”.
In its statement on Sunday, by its Spokesperson, Hon Debo Ologunagba, the opposition party said it does not buy the attempt by the Presidency to rationalize the “over-bloated” delegation by trying to hide under genuine sub-national officials, businesses, journalists and Civil societies who are travelling at their own expense to cover the baggage of cronies, mistresses and other hangers-on associated with the Presidency who are reportedly attending at government’s expense and have no relevance whatsoever at the Conference.
“Our Party and all well-meaning Nigerians are appalled by the level of profligacy inherent in the APC administration whose actions and policies so far are skewed towards the promotion and institutionalization of corruption.
“The attempt to deceive Nigerians even when the list of the delegation is in the public domain, shows that the APC administration is irredeemably depraved.
“We ask, why would a country whose citizens are dying daily from inability to purchase necessities be willing to fritter its resources and scarce foreign exchange in such a manner? It only points to the fact that this administration is not interested in the good of the generality of our citizens but for a select few positioned to fleece the nation’s resources.
“Our Party challenges the Presidency to come clean by making public the names of the official delegation sponsored by the Federal Government to the Conference, the relevance of such individuals to the Conference and the total cost of such sponsorship on the nation. Of course, Nigerians have the list and they know the genuine, officials of sub-national governments and other self-sponsored entities at the Conference,” the statement partly read.
Ologunagba further called on the National Assembly, in pursuant to its Constitutional duty under Section 88 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which empowers it to investigate and expose corruption by any organ of Government, to immediately commence investigation into “this embarrassing revelation” and impose an appropriate sanction on anyone or Institution found culpable in that regard.
The Party also demanded that President Tinubu should be ready to refund any Federal Government fund improperly spent to sponsor any individual who has no relevance at the Conference, noting that such funds should be channelled to projects that have a direct bearing on the well-being of Nigerians.
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