APC, PDP Row Over $9.3m, $5.7m Seized Monies

The All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have bickered over the latest cash seizure by the South African government. APC spokesman, Lai Mohammed, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to explain to Nigerians “critical questions on the legality of your administration’s repeated conduct.” In a release by the party, on Sunday, Mohammed challenged the federal government to disclose the identities of the Nigerian and two Israeli previously arrested for smuggling $9.3million, and the latest $5.7million, both seized by the South African government. Mohammed said: “Nigerians want to why the purported arms procurement for the government is done illegally between private companies that are neither known nor registered for dealing in arms? And why are the movement of monies not transparently documented for what they really are, if they are truly for legitimate purposes? “They want to know whether indeed the weapons which the government is seeking so furiously to procure are for the battle against Boko Haram or for a sinister motive, considering the desperation of your administration to continue to rule at all cost and by any means possible. They want to know whether every Nigerian should begin to fear what will happen in the days and weeks leading to the forthcoming general elections, against the backdrop of your Administration and party’s do-or-die politics. “Mr. President, if the funds involved in the latest seizure were sent through bank transfer, can the government explain why Oritsejafor’s plane was stuffed with cash and transported to South Africa? Can your Administration’s embarrassing explanation that it is customary for other country’s security agencies, including with MOSSAD, KGB and CIA, to cart plane loads of cash across the world to purchase black market weapons hold any more water now? These are some of the questions Nigerians are asking, not an untenable spin by untruthful government officials.” The APC faulted the Nigerian government for threatening South Africa’s investments in the country as a bait to make the latter buckle on the illegal deals. APC said “Mr. President, you cannot threaten another country when your administration is wilfully breaking the laws of that country. In this case, your Administration stands on a weak moral ground, as its hands have been caught in the cookie jar. Therefore, issuing infantile threats is laughable, unacceptable and wrong.” “Even at a time when we were ruled by military dictators and our country was a pariah nation, we did not experience these repeated and embarrassing national disgrace and clandestine, terrorist groups’ approach to the purchase of arms. How can Nigeria truly be a respected member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) when our own government and its operatives are self-identified and self-confessed money launderers?” Countering the APC, PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, said his party is “solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan in the steps he is taking to ensure the safety of Nigerians and defend our sovereignty as a nation, especially in the light of their connivance with foreign interests to embarrass the government and people of Nigeria.” Metuh, short of mentioning the foreign interests with which the APC is colluding to sabotage Nigeria’s government efforts, said actions taken against the country was ‘unacceptable and totally uncalled for.’ “We state categorically that the actions preferred by some foreign nations against our dear country as we seek solution to our security challenges are unacceptable and totally uncalled for, especially given our cordial relationship with them and the roles Nigeria and Nigerians citizens played in assisting them in their internal struggles.” He said “given the rush with which the APC attacked the presidency, it is clear that they are working hand in glove with foreign interests in a concerted effort to tarnish the image of our dear nation, ridicule our government and frustrate genuine efforts towards ending the insecurity challenges we face as a nation.” Metuh liked the APC “to a quarrelsome wife, who daily goes to the market place to discuss her marital problems. We ask, does such a woman seek the unity or disintegration of her home?” He added: “In the same vein Nigerians wonder if the APC is really interested in the unity and corporate existence of our nation. Are they trying to destroy our country as a means to achieve political control through the back door? The APC must come to terms with the fact that Nigeria as a (sic) indivisible nation has come to stay. They must know that Nigerians are resolute in their determination to live together as one people.”

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