2019: Opposition parties, CSOs seek INEC sanction on APC over early campaigns

Posted by News Express | 22 January 2018 | 1,942 times

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•INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu

Some opposition political parties and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have decried what they called early open campaign by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) contrary to the time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The political stakeholders and the civil rights organisations also called on the electoral umpire to sanction the ruling party for the abuse of electoral guidelines.

Speaking separately in Abuja, the political parties accused APC of carrying out open campaigns across the country contrary to the time table released by INEC.

Recall that the ruling party had staged political rallies, widely televised on national television in Abia, Edo and Kebbi states to officially receive decampees into its fold but the opposition parties were uncomfortable with the outings.

APC, a lawless party — ADP

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, National Secretary of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) James Okoroma, described APC as “a lawless organisation.”

“The APC is a Lawless Organisation. The APC is the only Political Party that is conducting rallies nationwide. It has started open campaigns and this is against INEC’s regulations. Since APC has nothing to offer in terms of good governance, it has a lot of time for political mischief.

“In the last two weeks, APC has held rallies and campaigns in Abia and Edo states. INEC should have the courage to wield the big stick. Sanctions must be imposed or anarchy will set in.

From all indications, governance will suffer since the ruling Party has commenced open campaigns.

Okoroma called on INEC to call the APC to order, saying “imagine what will happen if other political Parties start doing what APC is doing now. There will be chaos. The political space would look chaotic and riotous.”

It’s unfortunate — SDP

Also reacting to the development, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) expressed disappointment in the ruling party, APC, for allegedly carrying out open campaign.

“It is very unfortunate that it is the party in power, APC which needs all available time to concentrate and address the tons of problems afflicting the country that is breaking the law organising campaign rallies for an election that is about a year away and INEC looks on helplessly.

“If INEC is truly independent as it often wants to make the public believe, let it exercise its power on APC so that other parties can respect the rules, otherwise it will lack any moral ground to challenge any opposition party for jumping the gun too.”

It’s an abuse of Electoral Act — ACPN

For the opposition Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), the open campaign before the time provided by the INEC is a “fragrance abuse of the Electoral Act.”

National Chairman of the party Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, described the rallies assigned that the ruling party has failed the country.

“The APC Government has failed Nigerian my brother. The rally going about is a panicking rally to create an erroneous impression that all is well in the APC Government and in the party. They are liars.

“Therefore, the APC and other political parties organising rallies all over the place could not have been for the elections in 2019 in fragrance abuse of the Electoral Act, but to mobilise for the APC and its failing Government in Nigeria. If not so, why is the APC leadership so insensitive and callous as to be the political party holding rally all over the country despite the security challenges and wanton killing of innocent citizens in the country.

“I hope that the leadership of the APC, the ruling party in the country would reflect on the present situation in the country and join heads with the President to provide solutions to the issue of herdsmen and farmers ravaging the country instead of engaging in cheap politicking.”

CSOs react

For the Executive Director, Citizens of Impact Foundation (CIF), Comrade Daniel Olatunde, “campaign has not started but like you are aware, everyone in Nigerian including those in government do not obey rules but are a god to themselves as the institutions to maintain law and order are also complacent therefore they are also law breakers therefore Nigeria is a lawless country and a place where everything goes.

It’s an invitation to political anarchy — CISLAC

Executive Director the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said INEC was clear in the time table released ahead of 2019 general elections.

“If politicians will disregard the laws establishing their activities, then there will be anarchy. I think what politicians and their political parties are doing now are now in accordance with the laws establishing INEC. Therefore, INEC need to send warning to political parties and politicians to stop engaging in campaigns because this is not the time according to the INEC time table for campaign. It is important that we follow the Electoral process and INEC guidelines, failure to do this we will be inviting political anarchy.” (Blueprint)

Source: News Express

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