By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of seeking surreptitious ploys to frustrate the conduct of the 2019 general elections, having realized that he would lose.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan the party said President Buhari’s request to the National Assembly to vire N242 billion already approved for other projects in the 2018 budget to finance the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other agencies ahead of the 2019 general election is a booby trap deliberately set to drag the elections into a financial controversy and ultimately subvert the entire process.
“The PDP invites Nigerians and the international community to note that this request is a deliberate plot to inject disagreements in the polity, cause confusion in the electoral system and set the stage for a political crisis capable of frustrating the conduct of the elections.
“Mr. President is aware that his request is in no way in consonant with constitutional provisions and extant rules guiding legislative virement of funds already meant for constituency development projects, yet he sent same to the National Assembly.
“If Mr. President meant well for the nation and had no ulterior motives, he should have sent a fresh supplementary budget to the National Assembly for whatever amount he seeks for INEC, instead of seeking for a controversial virement.
“Nigerians will recall that the PDP had always pointed to series of signposts towards circumventing of our laws and extant regulations to achieve certain unpatriotic agenda including a possible self-succession plot.
“President Buhari must come to terms with the fact that Nigerians are eager for the 2019 general election and are not ready to be taken for a ride by any person whatsoever, in their quest for a new President come, May 29, 2019.
“We therefore charge Mr. President to follow the rules and immediately submit a fresh supplementary budget or seek other legitimate ways and means, devoid of bottlenecks, to finance the election.
“Nothing must stop the 2019 general elections and the process must be credible, free and fair.
“Finally, the PDP counsels Mr. President and his advisers, in their ambition, to seek other political survival strategy and desist from actions that are capable of dragging our nation into an unnecessary electoral crisis, as such will be firmly resisted by Nigerians.”