…We will revisit the issue of accountability says Ayu
A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo revealed that he left in the coffers of the party eleven billion naira in fixed deposit and eight hundred million naira in current account, an amount he said can’t be accounted for.
Dr. Nwodo also accused party leaders of raising million of naira for the purpose of building the National Headquarters but was diverted by the past leaders.
Some of the chairmen that succeeded Nwodo include Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Alhaji Abubarkar Baraje Kawu, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Dr. Ahmed Makarfi and Prince Uche Secondus.
Speaking at the party’s retreat held in Abuja, Nwodo who delivered a paper on party funding said, “Today we seem to have lost it. I handed over eleven billion in fixed deposit and eight hundred million in current account when I left as National Chairman after seven months. I don’t see what was done with that money.
“Millions were raised to finish our National Headquarters; we don’t seem to have a trace of where all that money went. Our headquarters is yet to be completed. Today we don’t even have a party account. We have to get back to strict monitoring of our party accounts.
“Our internal audit department needs to be strengthened and supported by the party leadership. Very strict sanctions must be imposed on mismanagement of party funds, I suggest that we include inviting EFCC to probe earing officers and members and prosecution of those found culpable. This is the only way to create deterrent.
“Once more I thank you for this opportunity and I wish the incoming NWC great success in administering our party.”
But the newly elected National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu while briefing the press on Thursday on the outcome of the party’s retreat said the party will revisit the issue of accountability and transparency in the management of party funds said, “By the time we come to office, accountability will remain our watch word and I want to assure all of you that we will run the PDP administration as transparently as possible.
“The outgoing NWC has set up different committees to look into different areas, we shall take up all the reports, review them, look at the facts and then attend to each issue according to the facts available to us.
“I want to assure you that we shall try to clean our house no matter who is going to be affected, we shall try to clean our house following due process and that due process also include exhausting all internal conflict resolving mechanism before we bring in any external intervention when we cannot resolve the issue.”
Ayu also said, “The PDP does not believe in visiting more hardship on the Nigerian people. The party has not discussed the issue of increase in petroleum prices but our general position is that the people of Nigeria are already hard pressed, there is so much hardship.”
Speaking on the planned increase in the Petroleum Pump Price, Senator Ayu said, “I want to assure Nigerians that when we come back to power as a party, everything will be done to make sure that the massive sufferings that Nigerians are going through, because if you increase the price of petroleum products today, with the kind of suffering that Nigerians are going through, it means that there will be enormous difficult in transportation. Food prices will escalate and there are already very high out there. You will find that crime rate will increase. Every single vice which has escalated under the APC will doubble. So the APC government is trying to take us into the highest level of suffering and ultimately, taking Nigerians to a position of non existence.”
The new PDP chairman also read the communique of the retreat said the party observed among other things that: The terrible security situation in the country threatens Nigeria’s corporate existence; The collapse of national security has made Nigeria to begin sharing sovereignty with terrorist gangs and rogue elements; and that the lack of vision, capacity, ability and competence on the part of the ruling APC have driven Nigeria towards a failed state. Through incessant borrowings, the Muhammadu Buhari regime has returned Nigeria to the status of “a beggar and debtor-nation.”
That the collapsed economy, infrastructure and a comatose manufacturing sector under the APC regime have pushed over 30million people into unemployment and underemployment between June 2015 and now; From the largest economy in Africa as at May 2015, Nigeria, under APC, has suffered two recessions and become the “Poverty Capital of the world; The unprecedented nepotism and divisiveness of the APC-Federal Government is fueling separatist tendencies in the country. Nigeria cannot survive another four years of APC misrule; PDP must put its House in order to enable it win the trust of Nigerians and be seen as a serious alternative to the failed APC; and to make Nigeria a workable and functional federation; an imperative by the incoming PDP govemment to restructure Nigeria.
The retreat recommended: The incoming Ayu led NWC of the PDP should hold periodic retreats and round-table dialogues to clarify its position on issues affecting the country; The NWC should commence sustained dialogue with the Nigerian Electorate before the next round of elections; and The PDP should engage different segments of the voting population especially to encourage youths and women demographics in the rescue.
Other recommendations are: The new leadership of the Party should in line with the party’s slogan, return the PDP to the people by entrenching the culture of internal democracy as envisaged by the party’s founding fathers,
“The new party leadership should enthrone the principle of party supremacy in the PDP so as to enhance order, discipline, unity, unanimity of purpose and, ultimately, landslide victories, Come 2023 and Beyond.
“Members at all levels should rally round the new leadership so that it effectively reforms, repositions, re-energizes, retools and re-directs the party towards regaining her lost glory and rescuing the country.
“PDP to see an emergency need for economic recovery and diversification through appropriate fiscal and monetary policy implementation approach that will help grow the nation’s export potentials, stabilize the foreign exchange regime and present an attraction for local and foreign investments.
“The new NWC should, as matter of urgency, revive and retool the Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) as the brainbox, the research and Policy arm of the PDP
“The incoming leadership of the party should explore alternative sources of funding for the party via registration fees/annual dues, statutory contributions, sales of mementoes etc.
“The task of rescuing and rebuilding the nation is a national emergency. It requires sacrifice, dedication, laser-focus and the cooperation of all
“The outgoing NWC praised the incoming NWC led by the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, for organizing a very successful retreat, with quality attendance from all over the country. It noted that the fruitful deliberations and the out-of-the-box prescriptions are all indications of PDP’s rebirth and resurgence.
“The incoming NWC, on its part, thanked its outgoing counterpart for its cooperation and full support. The Chairman-Elect H. E. Sen. Ayu equally commended party faithful, especially elected governors under its banner, for making out time to attend the retreat to strategize on the way forward.”
He assured all that, with PDP, “Nigeria shall rise again “.