The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has raised alarm over fresh moves by the Federal Government to divert public funds to support the governorship election of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva [above], through the Amnesty Programme.
Director of Publicity of the Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
He alleged that acting on directives from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (rtd) has been asked to release the sum of N2b from the Amnesty Programme accounts to support Sylva’s election.
Obuebite said the allegation has a “strong conviction” as reliably gathered by PDP intelligence network and corroborated by “authoritative source at the Presidential Villa in Abuja”.
He claimed in the statement that the funds would be released today or latest Monday and has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently investigate the allegation.
He stated that while the SGF and other friends of Timipre Sylva at the Presidency are right to support their friend in his gubernatorial aspiration, the decision to divert funds from the Amnesty Programme was totally wrong.
He noted that the funds in question were public funds meant for the payment of school fees of ex-militants who are undergoing training abroad under a special Federal Government amnesty scholarship programme.
Other ex-militants at home were also to benefit from the funds as accrued stipends owed them.
Giving insight into the development, Obuebite stated that Sylva had been sighted at the Amnesty Programme office in Abuja a couple of times and that he was the brain behind Boroh’a appointment as Special Adviser on the Amnesty Programme through his influence with the SGF.
He alleged that given his influence, too, as a retired general Boroh has been muzzling his way to deploy soldiers to guard Sylva and his aides in the course of his governorship campaign which, he said, suggested a larger than life status for a man not occupying any public office.
“This is an abuse of office,” he stated.
He also accused Boroh and Sylva of intent to use the military to rig the election, saying there were reports already towards that end but that the people were poised to resist it.”
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate this diversion of funds meant for the payment of six months stipends owed to ex-militants to support Sylva’s campaign without further delay in the interest of public probity and indeed the cherished integrity of Mr. President.
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