The National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party and the ruling All Progressives Congress, on Monday, engaged in a war of words over the search of former Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s residence in Kaduna by security agencies.
The PDP believed the ongoing war against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would fail.
It said the way the anti-graft programme was being carried out indicated that it was not designed to be successful.
The Publicity Secretary of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke with The PUNCH on the telephone on Monday, accused the Federal Government of having a predetermined motive to deal with members of the opposition parties, especially the PDP, with the programme.
He said there was no way the programme would succeed when it was apparent that not every Nigerian was being dealt with in the same measure.
The former minister alleged that the partiality in the implementation of the programme was also responsible for the loss of many cases instituted against individuals on charges of corruption in different courts.
Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, wondered why the Buhari government had also refused to either probe or charge to court members of the PDP who had defected to the ruling APC.
The factional PDP spokesman added, “It is obvious that the anti-corruption war is targeted at members of the PDP alone. That’s why it is not working.
“How many members of the APC, including those who were members of the PDP before, had been charged to court with corruption even though they were holding sensitive positions before?
“The Federal Government under President Buhari is only interested in persecuting members of the PDP.
“This government is deceiving Nigerians by claiming that it is fighting corruption. The motive behind it is evil and that’s why the war is failing.
“How many convictions has the government recorded so far? Buhari and his government just want to silence the opposition because they know that they are not doing enough to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
“I want to assure you and the Nigerian people that such (trying to silence opposition) will fail. Opposition won’t die under this regime.”
Adeyeye urged the members of the opposition not to be disappointed and intimidated, assuring them that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
“Nobody can kill the opposition in this country. It has never happened before and it will not happen now, not even under a non-performing regime like the one we have now,” he added.
But the APC said if the PDP tolerated corruption during its tenure, the ruling party had zero tolerance for graft.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja on Monday.
He also dismissed allegations by the PDP that the anti-corruption war of the current administration was targeted at members of the opposition.
Abdullahi, a former Minister of Sports, said, “You cannot accuse someone who did not have access to public funds. It is people who had been politically exposed who certainly had a greater opportunity to get involved in corrupt practices in the last four years.
“You cannot accuse people who were not in government of corruption. Naturally, it is people who were in government that could be accused of corruption.
“When people are accused of corruption, they are not simply thrown into jail; you will still undergo trial. If they are found not guilty, they don’t need to be afraid, because all this anti-corruption fight is still taking place within the provisions of the law.”
Abdullahi added, “Anybody who is not guilty, need not to be afraid. No amount of rephrasing that the fight against corruption is targeted at the opposition will remove the fact that people behaved inappropriately with public finances.
“If Makarfi or any other person knows of any APC member who was in the PDP government and was undergoing trial and he was left alone because he became an APC member, they should let us know. If the party they belong to has a higher tolerance for corruption, we don’t.”