The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s private trip out of the country without transmitting power, as required by the 1999 constitution, was an act of dereliction.
It said the inability of the president to transfer power before his trip confirmed that the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Buhari Presidency were not interested in governance but seeking to vacate the constitutional order and foist an authoritarian system on the country.
The PDP in a press statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan insisted that such dereliction of office could only come from leaders, who did 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.
The statement read in part, “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.
“What else, beside 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.”
The PDP stated that these cabals have wrecked the Nigerian economy, divided the 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 urge Nigerians to unite in condemning this act of impunity in the interest of the 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,” the party said.