The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for travelling to the UK on a ‘private visit’ without transmitting power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The reason for the president’s trip was not disclosed by the presidency which simply said it was a ‘private visit’ and Buhari would returrn on May 5.
Many observers, however, believe the president travelled to see his doctors in the UK where he has received treatment for about one year of his four years in office.
Unlike during such previous trips, Buhari did not transmit power to Osinbajo as required by Section 145 of the Constitution.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s private voyage out of the country without transmitting power, as required by the constitution, is an act of dereliction, which confirms that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Buhari Presidency are not interested in governance but seeks to vacate our constitutional order and foist an authoritarian system on our country,” the PDP said in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The opposition party said such trip at a time Nigeria was witnessing major cases of insecurity was not a good one.
“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.”
Attacks by bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram, as well as ethnic and religious crises across the country have created a state of insecurity across Nigeria.
The latest occured on Monday when motorists were attacked by armed bandits along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. Many travellers are belived to have been kidnapped.
The victims include the chairman of the board of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Muhammad Mahmood, and his daughter. Mr Mahmood’s driver was killed in the attack.
In its Monday statement, the PDP alleged that Mr Buhari’s decision not to transmit power to Osinbajo had created a vacuum that would be filled by a ‘cabal’ in the presidency.
“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,” it said.
While the PDP criticised Mr Buhari for not transmitting power, it was silent on the fact that Mr Buhari’s civilian predecessors, who were PDP members, also travelled out of the country often without transmitting power to their vice presidents.
Ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and late Umar Yar’Adua at different times travelled outside the country without transmitting power to their vice presidents.