Following the recent remark by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd), that he was not aware of the whereabouts or disbursement of the $1bn withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) by the Presidency in 2017 for security purposes, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari gives an immediate account of the money.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, the main opposition party said the confession by the NSA, who coordinates the security architecture of the nation, directly places a huge burden on President Buhari’s doorsteps over reported stealing and diversion of funds meant for security, while insurgency, banditry, killings and kidnapping fester in the land under his watch.
It observed that revelation by NSA further vindicated the PDP on its initial alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration was “overtly corrupt, deceptive and unreliable in the handling the affairs of our nation.”
The PDP added: “It further validates the stance of the PDP that agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC were hiding under the guise of security to siphon the $1bn from the ECA.
“This, perhaps, informed the desperation by the cabal to draw from the Account without recourse to statutory due process of appropriation by the National Assembly.
“From Gen. Mongunu’s confession, Nigerians can further see why our nation is daily confronted with disturbing videos and reports of our fighting troops protesting their neglect and inadequate equipping, leading to their vulnerability in the fronts.
“Now that the National Security Adviser has declared that he is not aware of the whereabouts of funds, the burden, straightaway, lies squarely on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address the nation on how the money was handled.
“This is especially as there are already allegations in the public space that certain funds meant for security were diverted for 2019 campaign activities of the APC while our troops languished in the front.
“Our party had always alerted Nigerians that the APC administration was insincere in the handling of the ECA fund leading to our demand in 2017 for the National Assembly to investigate the handling of the $1bn.”
The PDP restated its demand that President Buhari allows for a system-wide investigation into the whereabouts of the $1bn, as well as the handling of other funds meant for security purposes under his watch.
Furthermore, the PDP invited Nigerians to note that “such diversion of funds under the Buhari administration led to the articulation of a blueprint by Atiku Abubakar for a transparent system that eliminates siphoning of funds, particularly in our critical sectors.”