The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on security agencies to immediately launch a probe into the voluntary disclosure of the Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC)Dr. Mikanti Baru, that 4,501 trucks of petroleum recently went missing.
The PDP, in a statement signed by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi, copies of which were obtained by newsmen on Sunday noted, if trucks of petrol could suddenly develop wings and could not be traced in the ministry that is directly being supervised by President Mohammadu Buhari, the signs are rather obvious that the plundering of the nation’s commonwealth in ministries, departments and parastatals are at unimaginable rate.
The party expressed shock over what it called “additional means of stealing to finance APC and President Buhari’s re-election next year in addition to the proposed N1billion daily funding of Boko Haram which the administration claimed have been technically defeated.”
Dr. Baru disclosed that the trucks laden with petrol could not be traced when he appeared before Senate Committee probing the scarcity of the product last week.
Insisting that such disclosure, apart from giving out Buhari Presidency as largely incompetent, also exposed Nigeria as a country with no security shield, the PDP said the missing trucks must have been sold and the proceeds kept in special coffers being ‘fattened’ for 2019 elections.
According to PDP, the nation’s presidency went into ‘sleep mode’ and caused scarcity of petroleum, thereby exposing Nigerians to untold hardship, as a shortage of petroleum snuffed the life out of Yuletide celebrations, adding that only in a clime with weak or no government at all could such an incidence happen.
The statement reads in part: “The PDP is demanding investigation into Baru’s statement that such an embarrassingly huge number of truckload of petrol, 4,501 in total, running into several million of litres of a commodity which incidentally Nigerian public suffered and still suffers its scarcity could disappear without the government that lay claim to fighting corruption caring a hoot”
“The PDP is asking, where were the relevant security agencies and bodies saddled with the issues of petroleum products when such a huge number of trucks vanished into thin air? Is it is not looking like the ruling party is scooping for money from every available and illegal means to procure the 2019 general elections?
“Security agencies, especially EFCC should not limit its activities to finding money dumped in the open by unknown persons or the selective fight against the opposition, the agency should also widen its scope to establish the veracity of Baru’s claim that such numbers of tankers truly disappeared in a ministry supervised by President Buhari himself who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum.
“This is one incident too many in the Ministry the same ministry that recorded an unprecedented fraud last year when Mr Ibe Kachukwu, State Minister of petroleum declared that Dr Mikanti Baru helped himself with a whopping $25 million that belongs to the country”
“The matter was swept under the carpet. This is another one. To say the obvious is that the cost of 4,501 truck runs into several billions of naira. If the tankers travelled through the land or sea borders, then those saddled with the responsibilities of manning those places should be investigated.
“The disclosure is a serious indictment on the Presidency. From all indications, stealing and pilfering under this administration is becoming unbearable for Nigerians, we can imagine what difference the cost of 4,501 trucks of petrol would have done if injected into the Nigeria economy.
“It is our hope that this incident will not be swept under the carpet” the party concluded.