The All Progressive Congress, APC, has accused the presidency of flouting Independent National Electoral Commission rules by campaigning for the 2015 elections.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its interim national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party described the rally organized by the first lady, Patience Jonathan, last week as early political campaign for President, Goodluck Jonathan, ahead of the 2015 presidential elections despite the warning by INEC.
The electoral body earlier reminded all players of the provision of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended), which states that “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”
It cautioned that campaigning outside this provision is a violation of the law, warning that the commission will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against culprits as provided by relevant sections of the law.
The APC asked the presidency to tell Nigerians why it has defied INEC rules by continuing to campaign for the 2015 elections.
The party also called on INEC to mete out appropriate sanctions to anyone who has violated its ban on early campaigns for the 2015 elections, in view of the first lady-driven peace rally that it referred to as ‘a facade for electioneering campaign.’
The APC described the rally as the first of its kind in Nigeria “where women were drawn from various security agencies” and “coerced into a march of shame, as organizers of the campaign masquerading as a peace rally blocked traffic and prevented citizens from earning their daily bread”.
It said a party that defies rules and lies to citizens cannot be trusted to rule over a people who are eager for their country to join the comity of developed nations.
”Defying INEC, this brazen campaign featured women clad in specially-made ‘ankara’ that bore the picture of President Jonathan and reminds one of the disgraceful days of the late despot MobutuSese Seko of former Zaire, and the late clownish leader of Uganda, Idi Amin. What a company to keep in the 21st century,” APC noted.
The party also faulted the assertion by presidential adviser on public affairs, Doyin Okupe, that President Jonathan has not informed anyone that he will contest in 2015 when his wife had commenced a campaign.
“Okupe said his boss has not told anyone he will run, and had the temerity to insult the media by saying they have been taken over by a few people. The good news is that Nigerians are far smarter than their present rulers and therefore cannot be fooled,” APC said.