The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday dismissed the All Progressives Congress (APC) for associating its chieftains with suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas Igbalode, popularly called Hushpuppi.
It will be recalled the APC had earlier on Saturday asked relevant security agents to probe PDP chieftains including former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar, ex-Senate president, Bukola Saraki and two others over alleged link with the suspected fraudster who is standing trial in the United States over wire fraud in the US and other parts of the world.
However, the PDP in a statement issued by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, asked the ruling party to go the whole distance in assisting investigating authorities to establish “the relationship” without further delay.
The party said: “The APC should assist the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to establish the relationship they are talking about. When has it become a crime for people to be photographed together? And since it appears they know more than other Nigerians, they should speak up now without delay.
“Is this a plot to divert attention from the mindless killings going on across the country under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari? What has the ruling party to say about its mismanagement of the economy which has brought about untold hardship in the country? Have they delivered their promise to secure Nigerians and their properties, revamp the economy and fight corruption to a standstill? These are the questions they should provide answers to if they have a reckoning with their conscience.”
On his part, Atiku through his media aide, Paul Ibe, wondered how a photograph taken at a public event with Hushpuppi would suddenly become a source of curiosity for the APC.
In his verified Twitter Handle, @omonlakiki, Mr. Ibe wrote: “It is curious that the APC is mischievously trying to link Atiku Abubakar to the alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, A.K.A, Hushpuppi simply because he was photographed with Atiku at an event where many Nigerians has attended.”
On the same vein, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also on Saturday described as irresponsible and cheap politics, an attempt by the ruling APC to link him to Hushpuppi.
In a statement titled: “Cyber Criminals: APC’s Statement Irresponsible” issued by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stressed that he had no form of association with the suspected fraudster.
The statement read:
“The statement credited to the APC, the ruling party in our country, is one of the ways by which our anti-graft agencies are weakened and why the fight against corruption in the country is often viewed with suspicion by the international community.
“This is because when these cyber-crime suspects were operating freely and openly displaying wealth, the APC saw nothing bad in their activities.
“Also, the party at that time did not deem it necessary to call on the anti-graft agencies to investigate their activities.
“Also, since the arrest of those cybercrime suspects and the subsequent damage to the image and the economy of Nigeria as well as the crisis it created for Nigerians engaged in lawful businesses across the world, the ruling party had been muted (sic).
“The only time the APC deemed it necessary to make a statement was when it thought it should play dirty, cheap, and irresponsible politics.
“Dr. Saraki was the only political leader who has publicly made a statement through an Op-Ed article published in the Daily Trust newspaper of July 1, 2020, titled: ‘Cyber Criminals: Confronting The Few Who Dent Many.”