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2019 polls under threat from National Assembly, presidency rift



The renewed face-off between President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly over who calls the shot on budget matters could jeopardise the conduct of next year’s general elections. Specifically, legislative approval of budget proposals for the conduct of next year’s election by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is uncertain.

A member of the Senate Appropriation Committee and Chairman of its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South), queried the president’s motive.

The executive cannot, at this time, ask that money for key capital projects be converted for elections, he said. “That is not planning. Since we held the last poll, the next election time had been fixed. Since we did the last election, we already knew when we must do the next election, as the Electoral Act stipulates. We already knew that a new government would be inaugurated on May 29, 2019.”

One of the three Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators from Bayelsa State, on condition of anonymity, said: “I don’t want to comment on it. Everybody knows that there would be general elections in 2019 and yet they failed to make provisions for the elections in the 2018 budget. Why did they not make provision for it then? I believe they are up to something. But we are watching very closely. For now, I will not want to talk about it.”

The Guardian, July 23, 2018


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