The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the 1,411 Nigeria contingents to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the COP28 conference as “wasteful, frivolous and reckless in the application of the scarce resources.”
PDP in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary Debo Ologunagba, regretted that such wasteful spending came at a time when Nigerians were yearning for prudent management of resources to achieve the desired infrastructural regeneration, job creation and revamping of the economy.
The party dismissed the attempt by the presidency to rationalise the over-bloated delegation, and added that by trying to hide under genuine sub-national officials, businesses, journalists and civil society organisations who, according to the PDP, travelled at their own expense to cover the event, “baggage of cronies, mistresses and other hangers-on associated with the presidency who are reportedly attending at government’s expense and have no relevance whatsoever at the conference.”
The statement added that well-meaning Nigerians were appalled by the level of profligacy inherent in the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration “whose actions and policies so far are skewed towards the promotion and institutionalization of corruption.”
According to the PDP, the attempt to deceive Nigerians even when the list of the delegation is in the public domain, showed that the APC administration is irredeemably depraved.
“We ask, why would a country whose citizens are dying daily from inability to purchase necessities be willing to fritter its resources and scarce foreign exchange in such a manner?
“It only points to the fact that this administration is not interested in the good of the generality of our citizens but for a select few positioned to fleece the nation’s resources,” the party said.
It challenged the presidency to come clean by making public the names of the official delegation sponsored by the Federal Government to the conference, the relevance of such individuals to the conference and the total cost of such sponsorship on the nation.
“Of course, Nigerians have the list and they know the genuine, officials of sub-national governments and other self-sponsored entities at the conference,” PDP disclosed.
The party called on the National Assembly, pursuant to its constitutional duty under Section 88 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which empowers it to investigate and expose corruption by any organ of government, “to immediately commence investigation into this embarrassing revelation and impose appropriate sanction on anyone or Institution found culpable in that regard.
“Our Party also demands that President Tinubu should be ready to refund any Federal Government fund improperly spent to sponsor any individual who has no relevance at the conference.
“Such funds should be channelled to projects that have a direct bearing on the wellbeing of Nigerians.”
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Mr Peter Obi, had in his X platform, condemned the size of the president’s delegation to the conference.