By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC over the former’s recent private visit to the United Kingdom, saying his failure to transmit power to the Vice President as required by law is a violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
This is even as the party noted that such dereliction of office can only come from leaders, who do not have respect for the people they governed but always muscling their way to power through intimidation, harassment as well as official manipulations, as witnessed “in the rigging of the February 23 Presidential election by the APC.”
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said “Mr President’s abandoning of governance, particularly at this critical time when our nation is facing grave security and economic challenges, signposts the level of impunity and recklessness that will characterize our nation in the next four years, if the stolen Presidential mandate is not retrieved from the APC.”
The statement further read: “What else, besides an authoritarian propensity, can explain why the Buhari Presidency relegated our Constitutional Order by declaring the application of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which directs that the President transmits power whenever he is travelling out of the country on vacation, as a mere ‘convention.’
“Authoritarian tendencies are usually characterized by absolute lack of trust on other government functionaries, which could likely explain the failure to transmit power to the Vice President. Such proclivity can also lead to a sequestering of institutions of government, if not checked.
“The import of this relegation of Section 145 is also a clear absence of a constitutional command structure which leaves our nation at the mercy of the extremely corrupt, vicious and anti-people cabal with whom President Buhari presided over the most corrupt and most incompetent administration, which wrecked our economy, divided our nation and opened her up for escalated insecurity.
“Such dereliction at the high levels emboldens bandits, bolsters insurgents and fuels cruel acts such as extra-judicial killing, illegal arrests, detention of innocent citizens, constitutional violations, attack on institutions of democracy as well as reckless looting of our national treasury by members of the cabal because they know that ‘nothing will happen.’
“The PDP, therefore, urges Nigerians to unite in condemning this act of impunity in the interest of our nation even as they earnestly await the retrieval of the stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.
“Our nation is in dire need of a legitimate, people-oriented, responsible and responsive government that will foster respect for rule of law as well as due regard to other arms and institutions of government, particularly the judiciary and the legislature, in ensuring the general wellbeing and security of all Nigerians.”