The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the presidency of blackmailing the National Assembly over the N242 billion budget for the 2019 general elections.
At a press conference in Abuja, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the Federal Government was merely initiating the crisis to divert attention from the “series of corrupt practices it had perpetrated.”
He alleged: “The executive, particularly the Muhammadu Buhari administration, is out to blackmail members of the National Assembly. That is the absolute truth that we cannot afford to depart.
“How can they predicate funds meant for elections on the proposal for constituencies projects? How can the Buhari presidency sit back and declare that the money meant for the 2019 general elections would be based on an amendment of an Appropriation Act that is submitted.
“Why don’t they bring a supplementary budget? That is why I say people like Ita Enang, who has spent his life in the National Assembly, have the responsibility to advise the executive on what to do.”
Ologbondiyan went on: “They are just out to blackmail the National Assembly by saying they should come back from their recess. The president has gone on 10 days recess. Can anybody force him back? The lawmakers have only gone for their annual recess and it is within their right to choose when to come back.”
The PDP further dismissed the anti-corruption crusade of the current administration, declaring: “President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) deceived Nigerians to secure power on the promise of transparency, accountability and zero tolerance for corruption. Little did Nigerians realise then that they had boarded a ‘one chance bus’ driven by vicious and vengeful liars, scammers and falsehearted and heavily corrupt leaders parading as saints and messiahs.”
The main opposition party further held that the presidency and the APC-led Federal Government have been doing all “to divert public attention from their ocean of corruption and primitive stealing, including launching a brutal attack on the opposition, hounding innocent Nigerians for no just cause and seizing the airwaves to brand everybody else as corrupt while underneath, they shamelessly pillage our nation’s resources, stealing money in trillions, under President Buhari’s official cover.”