In a statement released to the press in Lagos and signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, the group described the statement as misleading and uncharitable and wondered why the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government would continue to lie on virtually every issue.
Aguiyi challenged the president to rise above partisan politics by making public the handover notes he received the same way President Jonathan publicised the PWC report on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) so that the world would know how empty the treasury is.
In faulting the claims made by President Buhari Aguiyi said the former administration as at May 29 left behind the sum of US$29billion in Foreign Reserve and $2billion in SWF, adding that the sum would have been higher if not the governors’ insistence led by then Governor Rotimi Amaechi the factional Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Buhari’s campaign DG on sharing the fund.
The group decried the desperation of the ruling party and the respected president to criminalise President Jonathan and paint him as a plunderer and looter of the nation’s treasury before the generality of Nigerians.
Buhari reportedly said he inherited a virtually empty treasury and that it was adding a disgrace that Nigeria cannot pay salaries of its workforce.
Expressing his dismay over the president’s statement, Aguiyi described the claim as a blatant lie “unscientific and unfair,” stressing that the immediate past administration “left behind over US$30billion.”
He called on Buhari to also tell Nigerians how much Jonathan inherited from the Yar’Adua administration and how much Umaru Musa Yar’Adua inherited from the Olusegun Obasanjo regime.
He said: “The APC government at the center today can’t tell us that there is no Excess Crude Account (ECA), Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) or are we saying the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIR) and related agencies had not in the last one month been generating revenue?
“Until they are able to prove they had no receipts from these government agencies in the last one month before Nigerians can now buy into their frivolous claims of an empty treasury.”
He recalled that under the Jonathan’s administration, Nigeria was rated the largest economy in Africa and 26th largest in the world, querying how come such a government would leave behind an empty treasury.
He said: “Money made by government is meant to be spent, and that was what the immediate past administration did responsibly.
Aguiyi also dismissed as fallacious the claim by the APC and their hirelings that Jonathan sold an oil block for $1.85billion and remitted only $100million. In dismissing the claim he said it is verifiable that the Jonathan’s administration did not sale a single oil bloc in its entire six years which put a lie to the allegation that he sold an oil block at all. The only oil bloc attended to by the administration was the block ceded to NPDC by NNPC. Being a government agency dealing with a sister agency , NPDC was mandated to pay book value of the bloc which they already begun to pay under Jonathan’s watch.
According to Aguiyi, whatever debt incurred by the administration in its effort to safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria was justified because for six years Boko Haram tormented Nigeria which increased our defense and military spending yet under Jonathan, Nigeria became the largest Africa economy and 26 in the world amidst deadly security challenges and dwindling international prices of oil. In spite of all these, the federal government never owed salary.
He challenged President Buhari to name the federal agency where salaries are owed as at the date he became president.
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