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‘Why Nigerians can’t trust PDP to rebuild Nigeria,’ VON chief, Okechukwu



The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, on Sunday explained why Nigerians cannot trust the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on its plans to rebuild Nigeria.

Okechukwu, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the PDP cannot be trusted to rescue Nigeria based on its antecedents.

He said: “How can Nigerians trust our sister political party, the PDP, given their antecedents riddled with trust deficit? We know that times are hard; methinks it’s better to allow APC to fix Nigeria. Where does one start from?

“Let’s start from PDP-In-house, by listening to Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo; ‘I handed over N11 billion in fixed deposit and N800 million in current account when I left as national chairman after seven months. I don’t see what was done with that money.

“Millions were raised to finish our national headquarters; we don’t seem to have a trace of where all that money went. Our headquarters is yet to be completed. Today we don’t even have a party account. We have to get back to strict monitoring of our party accounts.

“Our internal audit department needs to be strengthened and supported by the party leadership. Very strict sanctions must be imposed on the mismanagement of party funds.

“I suggest that we include inviting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to probe erring officers and members and prosecution of those found culpable. This is the only way to create a deterrent.”

The VON chief also recalled how a former Commissioner for Information in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua, alerted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the monumental corruption in PDP.

Okechukwu added: “Can we forget the squandermania of $23 billion Greenfield Refineries – one meant for Lagos, one for Kogi, and one for Bayelsa? A golden opportunity cost to our economy.

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“Recall that on March 19, 2015, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) queried Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, then Minister of Finance thus, ‘May we under the Freedom of Information Act 2011, request for the full disclosure of transactions concerning the three Greenfield refineries and petrochemical plant contract awarded on May 13, 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan to Chinese State Construction and Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC), at $23 billion meant to be located at Bayelsa, Kogi and Lagos States.

“Secondly, why are they dead on arrival as six years down the line, neither the three Greenfield refineries nor petrochemical plant is under construction. The three Greenfield refineries one understands, on completion were to add 750,000 barrels per day capacity to Nigeria’s refining infrastructure and create over a million jobs.

“The Greenfield Refineries fiasco happened when our Excess Crude Account had over $40 billion dollars the China State Construction Corporation even upped their equity to 80 percent. The unfortunate outcome is that $15 billion is fleeced off our national treasury annually for the importation of refined petroleum products for over a decade.”

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