The All Progressives Congress has said that the Goodluck Jonathan administration may end up as the most corrupt in Nigeria’s history.
The party, in its first official reaction to the the N255m bulletproof car scandal involving the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, said it was appalled at the manner Jonathan was handling the matter.
“We now understand why corruption has grown wings under the Jonathan Presidency, and why the administration may well go down as the most corrupt in the country’s history,” it said in a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday.
The statement was made available to journalists just as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said it had no documents relating to the purchase of the controversial cars.
The APC said it reached its conclusion on the Jonathan Presidency after juxtaposing the evidence that had so far come out of the car scandal with the actions so far taken by the President.
It pointed out that the handling of the scandal was a test case for the Jonathan government’s anti-corruption war.
The statement warned that Jonathan might be considered an accessory to the scandal if he continued to shield Oduah from facing the consequences of her alleged indiscretion.
The statement reads in part,“It has now emerged that the money spent on the cars was not appropriated, which is a violation of the Nigerian constitution; that due process was not followed in buying the cars, as the Bureau of Public Procurement has testified, and that the minister, who was said to have approved the purchase , violated the law by approving an expenditure over the N100m limit.
“These revelations make the Oduahgate a straightforward case that should have been summarily dealt with by the President. Instead, he has engaged himself in rigmarole by setting up a diversionary administrative panel in what is now looking like an orchestrated ploy to buy time, hoping this issue will die down and the minister will escape being sanctioned.
“Unfortunately for Mr. President, Oduahgate is not just another scandal, but a referendum on his administration’s fight against corruption, and on the legacy he intends to leave in this critical area.”
APC also accused Jonathan of “thumbing his nose at Nigerians,” who have expressed outrage at the action of the minister, by approving her trip to travel to Israel as part of his entourage.
According to the party, no one believes the ‘dummy’ being sold to the public, that Oduah was denied access to the President in Israel.
It added that “the egregious act of putting the minister on his(Jonathan) entourage, at a time she is at the centre of a terrible scandal, calls to question the President’s sense of propriety and his commitment to the war against corruption.”
The opposition party further observed that the body language of the President over the matter was sending a signal to ministers that it was alright to be corrupt.
It also wondered whether the President was aware of the joke going the rounds that five “super ministers that he can neither sanction nor remove, irrespective of their actions,” were ferreting out fundsfor his 2015 war chest.
But the Peoples Democratic Party, said the opposition, especially the APC, was in not in a position to accuse the Jonathan administration of corruption.
It described the APC as a party peopled by those whose main business is corruption
“The APC lacks the moral right to accuse our dear President and our great party of corruption. Most of the opposition leaders ought to be behind bars.
“We are happy the President has set up a committee and has ordered for an investigation into the issue. This shows that he has respect for the law, “the PDP through its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Abubakr Jalo, told one of our correspondents.
It therefore advised the APC “ to remove the log in its eyes before removing the speck from the eyes of others.”