President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday slammed the Peoples Democratic Party leaders for allegedly looting the treasury for 16 years, saying “only God can give them punishment”.
Buhari spoke at the State House, Abuja, when he received the leaders of 1,000 support groups.
He said, “Large scale abuse of trust, only God can give them punishment but those we can touch, we will get them prosecuted.
“We have said the properties confiscated should be sold and put the money into the treasury and we will use.”
The President repeated a story on how he met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Mr Godwin Emefiele) on assumption of office in 2015 and he was informed that there was no money left in the treasury.
Buhari said, “I have said this for the umpteenth time and I have challenged them to prove me wrong, but in the 16 years the PDP ruled, Nigeria was getting 2.1 million times 100 (2.1 million barrels by $100 per barrel) every day, every week, but when we came on board, the price fell to between $37-$38 and hung around $40-$50.
“I went to the CBN Governor and asked him for money, and he said there was no money.”
Dr Mahmud Mohammed, who led the groups, told the President that they were attracted to him because of his integrity.
Mohammed added, “From tomorrow we will not sleep. We will start house-to-house, shop-to-shop and market-to-market campaign to ensure your victory.”
However, the PDP said the President should not be taken seriously.
The party said the treasury looters Buhari was referring to now belonged to the ruling party.
National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, who spoke with one of our correspondents, reminded the President of the claim by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, that “once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven”. Secondus said, “I have watched the campaign of the President. Who are those leading it? You see, we should know that this President talks without substance.
“He is busy eating and dining with those he had once accused of corruption, yet he continues to sermonise as if he is leading a corruption-free government or party.
“We know all his cronies and those in his cabinet that have been accused of corruption, yet he is giving them cover. The President seems not to know that Nigerians know the reports of many panels that he is sitting on.
“He does not also know that corruption comes in different forms. A President that concentrates appointments to key positions on a section of the country is as guilty of corruption as the man that steals money. This is because he is spreading poverty in some other zones why he is giving what belongs to all to a clique.
“In any case, Nigerians are tired of a weeping parochial President, who will only be seen briefly in election period.
“Nigerians want a President that will interact with them and treat them equally; after all that is what the constitution says.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Okwukwu, has apologised to Buhari over the group’s decision to endorse the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Okwukwu said the President-General of the group, Chief Nnia Nwodo, was on suspension and not in a position to speak on behalf of the group, pending the outcome of the investigation of the allegations levelled against Nwodo.
Contrary to Nwodo’s statement that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo had endorsed Atiku, Okwukwu said the Igbo had decided to back Buhari’s reelection.