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Published On: Sun, Jul 20th, 2014

APC kicks against FG’s request for US$1bn loan to fight Boko Haram

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Badeh and JonathanBy Umar Muhammad Puma and Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the National Assembly to properly scrutinize the puzzling request by President Jonathan for a 1 billion-dollar loan to fight the insurgent group, Boko Haram, saying the administration has no business borrowing money if it had accounted for US$20 billion in oil funds or plugged the official stealing of 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said even if the missing oil fund is only between 10 and 12 billion dollars as admitted by the FG, the amount represents more than 10 times the fund which the FG is now seeking to borrow under conditions that are yet unknown.

It described as disingenuous and sheer blackmail the argument that the money is for national security or that it would facilitate the release of the over 200 school girls who were abducted about 100 days ago.

‘’That argument is hollow. In the first instance, trillions of Naira have been allocated yearly – in the past few years – for security and defence, yet the fight against the insurgents rages on with deadly consequences. Secondly, the only reason the school girls have remained in captivity is the sheer cluelessness and incompetence on the part of the Jonathan Administration, which waited for all of 19 days before even admitting that the girls were kidnapped in the first instance.

‘’Therefore, putting more money in the hands of an incompetent and massively corrupt administration can only encourage more incompetence and corruption. That is why we are asking the National Assembly to put national interest above all other considerations by taking a dispassionate, non-partisan look at the President’s request.

‘’What we are saying in essence is that the National Assembly must summon security and military chiefs to explain how the huge funds allocated to security sector in the past has been spent, before more funds can be pumped into the sector. They must be asked what happened to the military equipment said to have been procured in recent years.

“If after all the scrutiny, the National Assembly still feels it must approve the loan, so be it, but it (National Assembly) must know that its own integrity and credibility are on the line,’’ APC said.

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