Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) splinter group, New PDP, whose bigwigs have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday challenged the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to account for how he got the billions of naira he has been spending recently to push a political agenda.
The erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of New PDP, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, in a statement yesterday accused the minister of embarking on a spending spree as part of a grand plot by the federal government to woo voters ahead of the 2015 general election.
The minister who hails from Gombe State, the statement said, had in the past one month distributed over 50 special cars and over 150 motorcycles to politicians in his home state, in addition to sharing over N50 million to them.
According to Eze, "He has also extended the largesse to the emirs in the state in his bid to make them partisan as opposed to maintaining political neutrality as demanded by their status as royal fathers.
"Besides, Umar has of late been using private jets during his visits to Gombe. Our rough calculations indicate that the transport minister has frittered away billions of naira in his spending spree.
"The big question is: from where is Umar getting all these funds that he is recklessly spending? We are not against him supporting the PDP in its desperate bid to rebuild its crumbling house and the 2015 political aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan, but must our common patrimony be looted to achieve this?
"We recall that Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State recently alerted Nigerians that some 400 northerners have been corrupted and handed a heavy financial war chest with which to promote Jonathan’s 2015 presidential aspiration. A similar allegation had also been made by the pan-Northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). One of the unnamed beneficiaries of the said bribe may have unwittingly exposed himself! Where is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)?"
He referred to comments by a former South African President Thabo Mbeki who recently described how corrupt the Nigerian leadership is, adding: "Are our leaders not ashamed of this shameful categorisation? This is very sad and unfortunate considering that the federal government could not honour the agreement it voluntarily reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since 2009, thus forcing the closure of the country’s universities for over five months now."