The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, must be ready to face corruption and integrity tests as the 2019 general elections approach.
The APC acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, said this in reaction to the PDP’s spokesperson, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who accused the senior officials of the ruling party of embarking on “deliberate efforts to impugn the character” of its presidential candidate.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Nabena said the Nigerian electorate must have the opportunity to choose from candidates that can pass the integrity and anti-corruption test.
He said the character of office holders elected into public offices was important as the progress and development of a country depended on it.
The statement read: “The PDP’s assertion particularly coming from its spokesperson is ironic and laughable, given the fact that Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan as an editor with one of the national newspapers infact unearthed the Special Audit/Forensic Investigation of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) which indicted Alh. Atiku Abubakar, then Vice President for the mismanagement of the Fund.
“The PDP spokesperson in his published report disclosed that from 1999 to 2006, Atiku’s approval for the release of $20m from the treasury and subsequent placement in Trans International Bank without appropriation and approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was illegal and amounted to abuse of office.
“There are no lies here. Alh. Atiku Abubakar grapples with several other corruption indictments. This is a fact and reality he needs to deal with and come clean about.
“The PDP cannot be simplistic and attempt to wish away the issue of the integrity of candidates seeking elections into positions at all levels, particularly as 2019 approaches.
“We reiterate our position that the Nigerian electorate must have that opportunity to choose from candidates that can pass the integrity and anti-corruption test. The character of office holders we elect into public offices is important as our very progress and development as a country depends on it.
“When the choice is to be made, the electorate have the option of a proven and decent presidential candidate who is putting the people first and on the other hand a racketeer who will readily mortgage the country’s commonwealth to personal coffers and cronies.”