By Dirisu Yakubu, ABUJA
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against harassing opposition parties and their officials over some phoney allegations.
The warning came in the wake of the recent invitation extended to the party’s National Auditor, Adamu Mustapha, national organizing secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu and the Director of Finance by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations of financial indiscipline.
In a statement signed by the Director-General of the PDP Governors Forum, Cyril “CID” Maduabum, the PDP governors noted that the anti-graft body should and must not be used to cow opposition in the land.
The statement read: “The recent invitation of officials of the PDP by the EFCC acting on a spurious petition by a disgruntled former member of PDP raises questions on the seriousness and impartiality of the anti-graft agency to do its work.
“While PDP as a political party is accountable to its members and the general public for its actions, we are, however, concerned that the old tactics of using the EFCC to silence political opposition are creeping into our polity once again. We had expected that the EFCC under new leadership will learn from the mistakes of its predecessors.
“It is a misplaced priority for EFCC to abandon revelations of monumental fraud by various officials and agencies of the federal government to pursue the PDP which is the main opposition party doing a yeoman’s job of preventing the descent into chaos and anarchy in Nigeria.
“Perhaps, certain interests in government are worried about the increasingly assertive role the PDP is playing in calling out corruption in government and wants to weaken and silence it.
“Even the petition in question did not make a single allegation of misuse of government funds, nor cheating of any individual or public authority by the PDP. It is therefore surprising that EFCC should use its scarce human and other resources to begin an investigation into PDP finances.
“If EFCC is even-handed and non-partisan, it should also conduct an investigation into other political parties including APC, the ruling party.
“PDP is up to date in making financial returns as required by the constitution to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and we are not aware that INEC made any complaints to EFCC on PDP’s returns.
“The times are really perilous. We face existential threats as a nation and PDP shouldn’t be distracted from its main role as a political watchdog on behalf of Nigerians.”