- The PDP has accused President Buhari of attempting to frustrate the 2019 elections, following his request for a total virement of N228.8 billion for the polls
- The opposition party is alleging that the president has been informed that he would lose his reelection bid; and as such, wants to frustrate the elections
- It asked the president to submit a fresh supplementary budget or seek other legitimate ways and means to finance the election
President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of seeking what it referred to as surreptitious means to frustrate the conduct of the 2019 general elections, Punch reports.
The president had requested a total virement of N228.8 billion, largely allocated to new projects “inserted” in the 2018 budget by the National Assembly, in a letter he wrote to the Assembly on Tuesday, July 17.
NAIJ.com gathers that he requested the money to offset part of the proposed cost of funding the 2019 general elections.
The inserted projects in the 2018 budget will cost a total of N578.3 billion, while the amount needed to fund the election is N242.4 billion.
However, President Buhari wants the N228.8 billion vired from the money; an indication that many of the projects would suffer the fate of lack of funding and execution.
Consequently, the opposition party is alleging that the president has been informed that he would lose his reelection bid; and as such, wants to frustrate the elections.
In a statement released in Abuja on Wednesday, the PDP’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, asked 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.”
He added: “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.”
Hence, Ologbondiyan asked the president to adhere to the rules and submit a fresh supplementary budget or seek other legitimate ways and means to finance the election, devoid of bottlenecks.
In response however, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s national publicity secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, advised the opposition party to channel its suggestions to the National Assembly.
He said: “The INEC budget was submitted to the National Assembly, not the PDP. If the PDP as a party has any useful suggestions about the INEC budget for the (2019) elections, it should channel same through its lawmakers in the National Assembly.”
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari informed the National Assembly that the 2019 elections will cost N242.4 billion.
The president disclosed this in a letter to the Senate which was read on the floor during plenary session.
He explained that implementing a budget of N9.12 trillion for 2018 will be extremely challenging and therefore does not consider it expedient to increase the 2018 budget to accommodate the funds needed for the 2019 General Elections.
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