The party said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday that it arrived at this conclusion after its review of the political developments in the country since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took office at the center.
It said it was alerting Nigerians and the international community that all was not well with the nation’s democracy.
In the statement, Chief Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the party, said the PDP’s fear was derived from some actions of President Buhari’s government that undermine critical institutions of democracy, emasculate the constitution and ostensibly set the stage for a return of dictatorial regime in Nigeria.
Metuh said despite claims of being a converted democrat, President Buhari had allowed, under his watch, an incessant violation of sections of the nation’s Constitution, a development that has become a huge threat to democracy and the stability of the nation.
He said, “For instance, how can this government explain the fact that a major institution of democracy like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been deliberately debilitated to the extent that it can no longer perform its statutory responsibility for lack of quorum?
“Nigerians are aware that before his tenure expired on June 30th, the former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega wrote to President Buhari, intimating him of the fact that the tenure of majority of the national commissioners will expire before August, yet the President never acted, resulting in the present crisis in the commission, where more than 80 percent of the statutory 13 members remain vacant, even as eleven states of the Federation are also without Resident Electoral Commissioners.
“We note that this anomaly is in addition to the uncertainty surrounding the controversial appointment of an Acting Chairman of INEC in the person of a national commissioner whose tenure has since expired, not minding that there is no provision for an acting chairman of INEC in our Constitution.
“This development has completely enervated the commission from carrying out its functions as stipulated in Part 1 of 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended, thereby putting our electoral system under severe threat.”
Metuh expressed worry over President Buhari’s delay in upholding his responsibility of forwarding replacements to the Senate for confirmation so as to enable the commission effectively carry out its constitutional responsibilities to the nation.
He alleged that this could be a ploy by the APC-led government to use a decapitated INEC to conduct the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to pave way for their planned “capture” of the two PDP states.
He said, “Is the weakening of INEC not part of the plot to use the commission to put the PDP in precarious position in various electoral tribunals to the advantage of the APC?
“Furthermore, Nigerians are witnesses to the undue interference of the Department of State Services in the activities of election tribunals in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and other PDP states, where electoral officers are being harassed, intimidated and detained, ostensibly to influence judgments against the PDP.”
Metuh added that what was of grave concern to his party was the adamant stance of this administration in running a government without the statutory components of a full cabinet as prescribed by the Constitution.
Lai Mohammed, APC Spokesman, who declined comments to the matter, said, “PDP and its dwindling members know that their market has closed.”
By Patrick Aigbokhan