By Myke Uzendu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked for an immediate downward review of the 375 kilometer Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road reconstruction contract.They made the demand following what the opposition party dubbed “the unearthing of corrupt padding in the N797.23 billion contract recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)”.
In a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary, the party also asked for “an open probe into the criminal padding of the contract from the original N155 billion to an outrageous and indefensible N797 billion, with a whooping N642 billion apparently earmarked to be shared among corrupt officials”.
It noted that “with the approved N797 billion, for a 375 kilometer road, the Buhari Presidency is claiming to be reconstructing a kilometer of road with an outrageous and inexcusable N2.12 billion; an huge slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians.
“While our party restates our total support for the reconstruction of this very important road, the PDP insists that it will be against the interest of the nation to allow criminal elements in the Buhari administration to hide under the project to steal a staggering N642 billion which ought to be channeled to other projects that would benefit the people”.
PDP claims that the nation was jolted a the level of corruption in the Buhari presidency wherein Mr. President could approve a fraudulent contract padding to the tune of N642 billion at the time our nation is battling with serious economic challenges and infrastructural stagnation.
“The PDP charges President Buhari to heed to the demands by Nigeria and immediately effect the review in the interest of the nation, before any releases are made.
“The review by Mr. President would douse tension already generated by the revelations of this attempt by fraudulent officials to swindle the nation as well as restore the confidence of the people in our system.
“Our party holds that the N642 billion which would recovered through the review should be channeled to fix other important roads in the region as well as other parts of our country, which have become death traps following a distressing neglect by the Buhari administration.
“Moreover, the PDP tasks the Buhari Presidency, to come clean on this blasphemous attempt to swindle our nation, by instituting and allowing an open investigation on this criminal act by relevant statutory bodies including the National Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“The PDP demands that the investigation should cover the office of the Secretary to the Federation, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing the Office of The Accountant General of the Federation, the Budget Office as well as other officials of the Buhari administration connected with the criminal contract inflation.
“What Nigerians expect now is for Mr. President to show that he has not been overwhelmed by the corruption in his Presidency by taking decisive steps to investigate the matter and ensure the prosecution of all those involved, no matter how close they are to him,” PDP stated.