A national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday said that President Goodluck Jonathan $1billion loan request is only meant to build his financial war chest ahead of the 2015general election.
Tinubu in a statement said Jonathan’s request that the National Assembly should approve a loan of one billion dollars purportedly to battle Boko Haram terrorism, should lead any person with sober conscience to fall out of their chair.
“If only our spendthrift President attacked terrorism with the daring attitude with which he assaults democracy and our common sense, there would be no need for any expenditures. Boko Haram would have been vanquished many yesterdays ago.
“Yet Boko Haram continues stalking us because the President would rather play tricks than govern as a statesman. The bottom line is that the only thing remotely military about this massive request is that it serves to camouflage a sinister aim.
“The man seeks to bolster the PDP electoral war chest on the backs of the victims of terror and on the heaviness of our collective fear of the terrorist’s threat. In cloaking the request as part of the battle against terror, he believes no one will have the courage to object and this will enable him to get away with what should not be gotten away,” Tinubu said.
He noted that: “He is not asking for help in tackling terror. He is asking us to turn a blind eye and empty mind to an abject heist. This is as cynical a measure a national leader has ever undertaken during the time of national calamity. He demeans his office and the nation in this time of crisis. Of all things, he now subordinates the gravest national threat we have faced in four decades to his desire to hold to office.”
Tinubu then quizzed the purpose for the loan. “Yet do we know precisely what the loan is for? No. What will they purchase that has already not been set to purchase? No one knows. Again, by saying this is to fight terror, we are supposed to act blind, deaf and dumb or rush to congratulate him for his new found vigor. At best, he appears as a Johnny-come-lately to the fight against Boko Haram. This man has been commander-in-chief for over three years. Where has he been? He has been ensconced in the cozy, safe confines of Aso Villa, giving less than a care about the ravaging of northern Nigeria.
“It was only upon hiring a foreign PR firm did he begin to act as if Boko Haram and the Chibok crisis exist. Before that, he was sleepwalking in the midst of the storm around us. I fear hired handlers may have told him to do this thing because it will help him get elected and will make it appear to the outside world that he is doing something. Johnny-come-lately is also now on stage dancing and performing in dual capacity, as Johnny do-the-wrong-thing and Johnny wrong-step.
“Hasn’t he presented the National Assembly defense bills and budgets totaling over — trillion naira during the past three years? Boko Haram has been terrorizing throughout this period. Tell me, what has changed, what is so different now that he must stack another one billion dollars atop the funds already given him to defend and protect the nation? The answer is nothing except that elections soon approach. Thus, we are left with two alternatives. During the past three years, he has been so bereft of conscious and derelict in duty that he presented defense budgets woefully inadequate to face the challenge we all could plainly see before us.
“Alternatively, he has been so bereft of conscience and derelict in duty that he has squandered the money given him the worst of ways, giving contracts to cronies and leaving our frontline soldiers without boots or bullets,’ Tinubu alleged.