By Ali Baba Inuwa
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has derided the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu for quietly returning public funds he received from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the act confirmed its position in November last year that Ayu was a major beneficiary of the PDP-era massive looting of the national treasury.
“Our attention has just been drawn to the surreptitious return of stolen funds amounting to N405million by no other than the leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Iyorchia Ayu.
“The funds were said to have been returned a few months ago after authorities seized a mansion belonging to the former Senate President, but as soon as he paid up, the property was said to have been returned to him.
“This information that has just seeped into the public space confirms our position in a statement issued in November last year and titled ‘Ayu, not different from previous corruption-tainted PDP leaders-BMO’, in which we recalled that the PDP Chairman received N350m from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) account of the ONSA, ostensibly for security consultancy.
“But fresh facts gleaned from the Presidential Committee on recovery showed that the PDP chairman actually received N405m without offering any service to the country or government at a time that insurgents were threatening to overrun the country,” the group said.
It added: “If President Muhammadu Buhari had not been elected President in 2015, no one would have known and the former Minister would have practically escaped with his loot unpunished.
“This is the PDP legacy so it is not a surprise that a man caught with stolen funds is today at the helm of affairs of that party.”
BMO added that Ayu’s antecedent as a beneficiary of looted public funds is enough qualification for him to lead the PDP.
“We maintain that the main opposition party is currently headed by an individual who crookedly benefited from funds meant for arms procurement.
“In saner climes, he would have been removed from office, but knowing the gathering that PDP is, Ayu earned his stripes because only a politician that is adept at illegally feeding on public funds could lead such a group with the notoriety the former ruling party has.
“So it beggars belief to hear the PDP chairman and his colleagues pontificating about security challenges that they laid the foundation for in the manner they looted funds meant to boost the operational readiness of our security personnel.
“We make bold to say that this is what the former ruling party stood for and which its members have missed in the last seven years that President Muhammadu Buhari had been in the saddle,” it said.
BMO urged Nigerians to be wary when people like Ayu speak on security challenges in some parts of the country, knowing that he is one of those whose activities denied the military of necessary infrastructure support against terrorists and criminal elements.