Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Presidency on Sunday said the implication of re-electing a Peoples Democratic Party government in 2019 was that all the loot so far recovered from members of the party and their cronies would be returned to them.
It said that was the thrust of the “change the change” campaign the party has been embarking on without defining exactly what it means.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made this known in an article titled “The real price of ‘changing the change’ (1)” made available to journalists in Abuja.
Shehu said the real meaning and cost of the change campaign was that if they win the next election, they would take the nation back to pre-2015 and reverse the progress the All Progressives Congress has brought to the nation.
While saying that the main reason for the defeat of the PDP in 2015 was corruption, Shehu said the present administration has so far presented a corrupt-free image of itself and succeeded in abolishing grand corruption at the top and as attested to by the American President, Donald Trump.
He said although the PDP was claiming to have founded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, the party had intended to keep the anti-graft agencies as toys, or bulldogs which teeth had been removed.
According to him, to change the change would mean that the teeth of the bulldog will be removed and it would then only bark but not bite.
Shehu said, “In this country, politics is often considered as synonym of corruption. The previous government came under huge criticism for scandals like that discovered in arms procurements in the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA which transformed itself into a major source of funding of the PDP; NNPC crude oil thefts, broadband spectrum licensing scandal, oil subsidy scam and so many others but the present government has not faced any such corruption allegations.
“Although he said he was unafraid and would not bend, the President’s concern, and fear on the part of many is that if a corrupt leader takes over, it will be happy days all over again for former Oil Minister Diezani Allison-Maduekwe who has so far forfeited $ 153m, N23.4bn, and $ 4m and $ 5m in separate accounts.
“‘Change the Change’ would mean she will get the money back. So would the former Managing Director of the maritime agency, NIMASA get back GBP 578,080 seized from him and the Ikoyi apartment owners have back their $ 43.4m; N23m and GBP 27,800.
“The hidden owner of the Lagos cash shop may then step forward to reclaim their N449.6m; the ex-Naval Chiefs will have returned to them the already forfeited N1.8bn; the Governors Forum paid back their N1.4 bn and the major oil marketers, from whom the EFCC has so far seized N328.9bn will smile their ways to the bank.”