Presidency blames moles as PDP demands probe of leaked N1bn memo

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The Peoples Democratic Party has called for a National Assembly investigation into the approval of N500 million, the first installment of a purported N1bn approval allegedly by President Bola Tinubu, for the inauguration of a 37-man Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage.

On Thursday, a leaked memo surfaced, revealing that President Tinubu allegedly approved N500m out of a total of N1bn to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, for the inauguration of a 37-man Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement on Friday, described the approval as the height of financial recklessness.

“The PDP describes the said approval of the huge amount for a routine government activity like committee inauguration as the height of profligacy, imprudence, and financial recklessness, which further validates the PDP’s position that the Tinubu-led government is a cesspit of corruption where officials engage in brazen and reckless treasury looting,” Ologunagba added.

He further described it as provocative and unpardonable that at a time when the nation was suffering from acute food shortages, with millions of Nigerians starving due largely to inadequate investment in food production, insecurity, and harsh economic policies of the government, President Tinubu was allegedly spending a huge amount to inaugurate a committee.

The statement read in part, “It is even more revealing that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation allegedly requested an audacious sum of N1.8bn for the event, which was later scaled down to N1bn, out of which President Tinubu reportedly directed the SGF to “start with N500m first.”

Reacting to PDP’s claim, the Presidency called for a probe into the civil service structure to rid it of those it called “moles” loyal to the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, whom it blamed for leaking classified documents.

It said correspondence between the Office of the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation must be airtight. Therefore, leaks show vulnerabilities in the overall system.

Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, urged the Federal Government to weed out its ranks of moles loyal to the opposition who are leaking classified documents.

Onanuga said, “What is worrisome is, how come a memo written by SGF to the President and bearing the President’s signature leaked out? It means that there are some fifth columnists within the government.

“It’s not the first time a memo will leak. There was a memo leak when the President went to UNGA, about a request for money to pay for his hotel bills, and you wonder where it is leaking from.

“There are so many moles around who are probably doing the bidding of the opposition. They are not respecting the civil service rule for handling official secrets. And it shows that the government should look inward to probe how memos between officials are getting into the public space. Memos that are supposed to be secret are not supposed to be flying all over the place.”

Another Presidency official who wanted to remain anonymous defended the memo, describing it as a normal request for monies used to run the affairs of government.

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