Few days to the inauguration of the administration of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s President on May 29, top officials in the Presidency have been helping themselves with government properties, as they embark on a ‘looting spree’.
The scramble for valuable government items and properties has now been extended to the Presidential Villa and presidential aides in ‘Aso Rock’ are not left out of the ‘rat race’ to grab and convert government properties to personal use.
Inside source informed New Mail that two brand new Toyota Hiace buses purchased to assist the movement of the personnel in the Presidential Media Unit during the presidential campaign, among other properties, are being converted to personal property.
The source said that rather than registering the vehicles with State House (SH) plate number, a top presidential aide was said to have directed that the vehicles be registered with private numbers.
Consequent upon the directive, the two buses were registered as private vehicles with registration numbers KWL 408 NM and KWL 394 NM.
Surprisingly, however, shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan lost the March 28 presidential election on March 28, the two vehicles disappeared from the Villa.
Some personnel of the Media Unit were surprised when old vehicles were brought out to convey them when the President was to inspect the progress of work on the Umar Musa Yar’Adua expressway (former Airport road) and Kubwa expressway.
Ever since the inspection, the two vehicles are yet to be returned, suggesting that the aide who directed that the buses should not be registered with State House plate numbers must have taken them into custody.
Also of late, ambulance vehicles meant for distribution to Federal Government Hospitals in each of the 36 states of the Federation have disappeared from the Banquet Hall parking lots.
It could not however be ascertained if the ambulances have now been delivered to the states, but an official of the State House who pleaded anonymity however said that the ambulances may have been cornered by presidential aides.
“These vehicles have been parked here for over a year now, why is it that they disappeared few days after the President Jonathan lost the election?
“We all know what is going on and we shall be ready to supply necessary information to the incoming administration at the appropriate time,” the source said with a sense of authority.
The leadership of the All progressives Congress (APC) recently raised the alarm, alleging massive looting in the Presidency.
The party’s spokesperson, Lai Mohammed had said then that the APC has been “inundated with calls and messages by concerned Nigerians, alerting it to the unscrupulous actions of some Jonathan administration officials.”
However, Presidential Media Adviser, Dr. Reuben Abati in his reaction to APC , hastened to deny the looting allegation, assuring that “In continuing to fulfil the obligations of his office however, President Jonathan has not, and will never condone any form of unscrupulous conduct on the part of state officials,”