By Emmanuel Mogbede
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a commission of inquiry on government expenditure between 1999 and 2014.
The BMO made the call in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke on Friday in Abuja.
The organisation said such commission was necessary to set the records straight on actual accruals and projects done by three successive Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administrations.
BMO added that such commission would give a clearer picture of how the PDP spent the oil receipts it got within that period.
“We agree with the President that PDP owes Nigerians some explanations on how it spent the unprecedented oil earnings which has been conservatively put at about $1tr from the Obasanjo years till 2014, when the party lost control at the centre.
“Like the President has often said, the average crude oil price at that time was$100 dollars per barrel with daily exports peaking at 2.1 million barrels per day in 2010.
“It was the same period that Dubai was transformed into one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a number of large scale projects, including the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall completed within six years.
“But the state of Nigeria’s infrastructure was nothing to write home about with absolute no rail transportation until 2015, while many major roads and highways were in a state of disrepair,“ the group said.
The organisation added that Nigerians needed to know the actual earnings from their common patrimony within the period in question and how the earnings were spent.
The group said it was still shocked that the party that was culpable in the alleged mismanagement of funds at the national level had the audacity to run a campaign with a theme of ‘Making Nigeria work again”`.
This, it said, the party did without accounting for perhaps the worst period in the nation’s political history.
It added that what was even more shocking was that millions of voters allowed themselves to be conned by the PDP and a Presidential candidate who was a central figure in half of the “ruinous“ years.
It recalled that this was after the party had delivered a half-hearted apology through its chairman Uche Secondus.
The BMO noted that the apology was done without necessarily providing any explanation on how it spent the hundreds of millions of dollars that accrued to the country at a period of oil boom.
“We are however glad that an overwhelming majority of Nigerians did not forget the locust years and said a resounding no to the PDP and Atiku Abubakar on February 23.
“They are also with us in our bid to have a proper explanation on the irresponsible spending that characterised the years that the party was in office.
“Although the National Assembly in 2008 probed an aspect of the expenditure incurred on power infrastructure, it is common knowledge that nothing substantial came out of what was then known as the $16bn power probe.
“This is the best time to have an all-encompassing probe that might lead to the trial of individuals behind the irresponsible spending of government funds between 1999 and 2014, “ the BMO stressed.
It maintained that those involved in large scale looting and mismanagement of public funds would not sleep in peace in the next four years unless they gave account of their stewardship.
BMO said this was the best option especially as President Muhammadu Buhari had been doing far more, especially on road and rail network with less oil receipts, since assuming office in 2015.