Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the recent invitation of officials of the party by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) “on a spurious petition” by a former member was a witch hunt.
The governors, in a statement by the Director General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Hon. Cyril Maduabum, noted that PDP as a political party was accountable to its members and the general public for its actions.
The forum expressed concern that the old tactics of using the EFCC to silence political opposition was creeping into the polity once again.
“We had expected that the EFCC under a new leadership will learn from the mistakes of its predecessors.
“It is a misplaced priority for EFCC to abandon revelations of monumental fraud by various officials and agencies of the Federal Government to pursue the PDP, which is the main opposition party doing a yeoman’s job of preventing the descent into chaos and anarchy in Nigeria.
“Perhaps, certain interests in government are worried about the increasingly assertive role the PDP is playing in calling out corruption in government and wants to weaken and silence it,” the statement added.
It noted that the petition did not make any allegation of misuse of government funds, nor cheating of any individual or public authority by the PDP.
“It is therefore surprising that EFCC should use its scarce human and other resources to begin an investigation into PDP finances,” the forum said. It challenged the EFCC to investigate the finances of other political parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), if the agency was non-partisan.
The forum reminded the EFCC that PDP is up to date in making financial returns as required by the Constitution to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and it was not aware that INEC made any complaints to the EFCC on PDP’s returns.
“The times are really perilous. We face existential threats as a nation and PDP shouldn’t be distracted from its main role as a political watchdog on behalf of Nigerians,” the statement said.