Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:51 pm
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday deplored the Presidency’s request for N242 billion for 2019 elections from the 2018 Budget, saying it constituted a threat to the polls.
The PDP made this position known in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
It said that the request on the National Assembly to vire funds already allocated to other issues in 2018 Budget smacked of a ploy to frustrate the conduct of the elections.
According to it, the request to vire N242 billion already approved for other projects in 2018 budget, to finance INEC and other agencies ahead of 2019 elections is deliberately set to drag the elections into financial controversy.
The party said that the request was capable of inducing disagreements in the polity, cause confusion in the electoral system and set the stage for a political crisis capable of frustrating the elections.
It said that the request was not in consonant with constitutional provisions and extant rules guiding legislative virement of funds already meant for constituency development projects.
The party advised that rather than such specific request, President Muhammadu Buhari should send “a fresh supplementary budget to the National Assembly for whatever amount he seeks for INEC instead of seeking for a controversial virement.”
It said that Nigerians were eager to have the 2019 general elections, and were not ready for anything that would constitute threat to it.
“We therefore urge the President to follow the rules and submit a fresh supplementary budget or seek other legitimate ways and means, devoid of bottlenecks, to finance the elections.
“Nothing must stop the 2019 general elections and the process must be credible, free and fair,’’ it stated.
The party counselled against actions capable of dragging the nation into unnecessary electoral crisis.