Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has challenged the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to name the 55 Nigerians he claimed have stolen N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013.
The minister had, at a press conference on Monday, announced that 55 Nigerians across federal and state governments as well as the private sector have collectively stolen N1.3 trillion, in seven years.
In a rebuttal of the minister’s statements through a press release signed by his special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose described the minister’s statement as mere propaganda.
He said the statement by the information minister was an extension of propaganda of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which, he alleged, still operate like a party scouting for votes.
He challenged Lai Mohammed, to come out clean by naming the 55 people who committed the said theft or “apologise to Nigerians for lying”.
Fayose said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government “is turning governance to Nollywood”.
He accused the government of concocting lies to distract Nigerians from the “destruction of the economy”.
“The reality is that the All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government has destroyed the economy within eight months in power and rather than look for solutions to the problems facing Nigeria, Lai Mohammed and his cohorts are branding bogus figures about stolen money just to cover up their lack of solution to the country’s economic problems,” he said.
“They are turning governance to Nollywood, such that when one movie is about to end, they release another one. As it appears that the $2.1 billion arms deal movie is getting to an end, Lai Mohammed introduced another movie titled N1.34 trillion loot.
“Unfortunately for them this time around, Nigerians have become tired of watching the Federal Government movies, they now want reality. Nigerians are now aware of the scam in the $2.1 billion arms deal movie having seen that the amount those already charged to court were charged with is not more than N10 billion and $2.1 billion is over N600 billion.
“Therefore, Lai Mohammed must either tell Nigerians details of the 15 former governors and 55 people that he claimed stole N1.34 trillion, where the stolen money is kept and bring back the money or apologise to Nigerians for lying,” he said.
Fayose condemned the manner in which the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh, was taken to court on Tuesday.
“Even the masterminds of Madalla and Nyanya bomb blasts, Kabiru Sokoto and Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche were not handcuffed when they were arraigned in court,” he said.
While disputing the federal government’s claim that PDP’s 16 rule is responsible for the nation’s woes, Fayose said; “Majority of those who ran the federal government between 1999 and 2003 under the PDP are in the APC government today. President, vice president, ministers, governors, senators and house of reps members who were part of the PDP government are now in APC.
“Yet, APC keeps telling Nigerians that PDP ruined the country. This hypocrisy must stop,” he said.
According to Fayose, no amount of harassment and intimidation will silence opposition in the country, saying President Buhari and his men should rather get used to the reality that opposition is an essential component of democratic system.