Nigeria: Buhari in UK - PDP Asks N'Assembly to Address Power Vacuum

President Muhammadu Buhari
13 April 2018

Abuja — The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the National Assembly to invoke the relevant sections of the constitution to address the power vacuum caused by President Muhammadu Buhari's absence from the country.

The party accused the president of shrouding his private visit to London as official.

It said Buhari left the country on April 9, 2018 for London without officially transmitting power to the vice president.

In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said: "We therefore charge the National Assembly to immediately come to the rescue and invoke relevant sections of our constitution and laws to address this power vacuum that is capable of derailing our democracy.

PDP said it was instructive to note that Mr. President has not conducted a single business of government 72 hours after his arrival in the UK.

"More astonishing is the fact that President Buhari did not transmit a letter to the National Assembly indicating that he was going on a week's vacation ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM).

"PDP demands that the National Assembly save the nation from an imminent constitutional crisis by immediately commencing processes to address the current power vacuum in the country, following President Buhari's decision to embark on a private trip abroad without officially transmitting power to the vice president.

"The intervention of the federal legislature has become a national imperative, as the president's action has put the nation in clear danger.

"Nigeria is at the moment bereft of statutory leadership, including the apparatus of security command, particularly as President Buhari had not indicated a date of return to the country.

"The PDP and of course, Nigerians at large, are particularly worried that in the event of any national emergency, there is no sitting commander-in-chief to take charge.

"It is incontrovertible that President Buhari is on a private trip to the UK as he was not received on arrival, by the government of that country; has not had any contact with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May or any high officials of the UK government and has not conducted any official business since his arrival to the country on Monday.

"Since Monday, President Buhari has been holidaying in London and has been unable to discharge the functions of his office, in total disregard to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, disdain to Nigerians and flagrant abuse of his presidential office.

"By embarking on this vacation and abdicating his official functions without transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and holding on to power while on vacation, President Buhari acted in gross violation of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

"We know that Mr. President is billed to attend the CHOGM meeting scheduled to hold between April 16 and 20, but has been in London since Monday attending to private matters, while the ship of state is left bare of statutory leadership as nobody even knows when he is due to return to the country.

"Nigerians will recall that the PDP had earlier demanded the presidency to issue a full disclosure on the nature, scope and duration of the private aspect of President Buhari's trip, a request, they blatantly ignored, in total disdain to the sensibilities of Nigerians.

"The PDP and lovers of democracy in Nigeria are particularly miffed that in the desperation to hold power, President Buhari chose to observe the provisions of the constitution in the breach, thereby endangering our dear nation.

"We therefore charge the National Assembly to immediately come to the rescue and invoke relevant sections of our constitution and statutory books to address this power vacuum that is capable of derailing our democracy

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