Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Dr Ayu (right), with Lai Mohammed
Even as Nigerians feel that the All Progressive Congress (APC) failed to deliver on what they promised Nigerians, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will leave no kobo in Nigeria’s treasury if the party wins the 2023 presidential election.
The APC, during the campaign to remove former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from office told Nigerians that they would bring change to the country. But with few months to go, the dollar, which exchanged for about N168 to the naira as at today sold for N727. Fuel was N68 during President Jonathan but is today selling for N185. Kidnapping for ransom remains a major thriving business in the country, just as there is no security of lives and property across Nigeria. The list is endless.
Crude oil theft remains at its peak and more Nigerians were plunged into poverty under the APC government with the oil subsidy scam still thriving. Yet Lai Mohammed said it will be impossible for PDP to change from its vice of looting the public treasury, if it ever has access to power.
Mohammed said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Arusha, Tanzania. The minister was reacting to media reports that some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP had returned N122.4 million paid into their accounts by the main opposition party leader.
There had been media reports that the PDP’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, allegedly paid a huge sum of money to the NWC members after the party’s primaries. It was alleged that the money was from the more than N10 billion realised by the party from nomination fees paid by aspirants. Commenting on the development, Mohammed said: “if a man can steal from himself, he will steal without any restrain from other people.
“The problem is that PDP will never change and like they say, a leopard will never change its spots. When PDP lost elections in 2015, they admitted that they had learnt their lessons, but obviously, they have learnt nothing.
“God forbid, if they ever have access to public purse again, they will leave no kobo there. We know what we met when we assumed office in 2015, we are still wailing from it. We hope Nigerians have now seen from this scandal the intention of PDP if they ever have access to public treasury.’’
The Minister said certain questions should be raised from the development, including, what informed the payment in the first place and if it was the first time such money was paid. He said the party should also be questioned on the source of the money and whether it was from the slush fund it had in its possession.
Mohammed recalled that as a member of NWC of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and later the All Progressives Congress (APC), no fund was ever paid into his account.
“Never did I remember that any form of money, call it, accommodation, or whatsoever, was ever paid into the account of any member of the NWC of either ACN or APC,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the minister is in Arusha for the 65th meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)’s Commission for Africa and a forum on “Rebuilding Africa’s Tourism Resilience for Inclusive Socio-Economic Development’’.
NAN also reports that the event is being attended by no fewer than 40 African Ministers of Tourism, UNWTO leadership and the Organisation’s representatives from other blocs.