…N242 billion request suspicious
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to frustrate the smooth conduct of the 2019 general elections, owing to what it called his fears of losing.
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 elections is a booby trap deliberately set to drag the elections into a financial controversy in a bid to compromise the electoral process.
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the financial request of the President is capable of breeding confusion in the polity, if not well handled.
“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,” the statement read in part.
The PDP further urged Nigerians not to forget that it had always pointed out “series of signposts towards circumventing of our laws and extant regulations to achieve certain unpatriotic agenda including a possible self-succession plot, noting that “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.
The party also urged President Buhari 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.