•Tackles presidency on alleged NHIS scam
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) alleged, yesterday, the country is currently on auto pilot and drifting to the precipice.
The party faulted Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s recent comments that Nigeria “is in safe hands.”
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said it sympathises with the minister “in his job of trying to launder the image of “a failed and rejected government. If a minister of Information, who ought to give the correct state of affairs, can announce that a government which collapsed the nation’s once robust economy and plagued it with violence, ethnic division and political tension is, indeed, a safe hand, then, our nation is in much more trouble under the APC.
“This is a government under whose watch the nation has become heavily polarised along dangerous fault lines and where citizens now live in fear and mutual suspicion; where citizens are slaughtered by the day by marauders; where hunger and strange diseases ravage the people due to its bad policies.
“The reasonable take-away from the statement of the Information minister is that this government has come to its wits end and has no solution for the troubles it caused the nation…”
In a related development, the PDP said reports that the Presidency allegedly concealed N10 billion theft in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Ologbondiyan said the report indicated that NHIS officials allegedly siphoned the money through the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The party spokesman said “it is the height of hypocrisy for a government that parades itself as champion of anti-corruption” to be allegedly superintending over illegal withdrawals and outright stealing of funds meant for the people.
The PDP added that “Nigerians can now see the level of debauchery associated with this administration. It is appalling that a government can be so depraved that it superintended over the stealing of money meant to provide healthcare for the citizens.
“We challenge the presidency to speak out on this report as well as similar reported sleaze that has occurred under its watch.
“Who in the presidency authorised the withdrawal of the money from the TSA and who were the beneficiaries thereof?
“What has the presidency got to say about revelations that it ordered the reinstatement of the indicted NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Yusuf Usman, to help conceal these illegal withdrawals and shield members of the presidency cabal involved in the deal?”
The party said unless the presidency clears its name by exposing and prosecuting those involved in the NHIS fraud, Nigerians must hold the government responsible.
Consequently, the opposition party urged the international community and Nigerians to note that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to act on alleged N9 trillion corrupt oil contracts in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC).
Besides, it said the presidency has also failed “to offer explanations on alleged involvement of its officials in various oil subsidy deals as well as reported diversion of N1.1trillion worth of crude, last yea,r to service All Progressives Congress(APC) interests.”