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APC Slams INEC Over Belated Ban On Illegal Political Support Rallies



By Funmilayo Omidiji

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) for acting  too late by warning against many illegal political broadcast and campaign, complaining the electoral’s body belated action is suspicious.

The party’s condemnation was contained in a statement issued in London Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

APC held that INEC’s action, coming after the ruling PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan have been campaigning endlessly for the 2015 elections, could only be to the disadvantage of other candidates and political parties.

”Is it a ploy by INEC to give undue advantage to the PDP and its adopted sole Presidential candidate, President Jonathan, in next year’s elections?” it queried

The leading opposition party wondered where INEC was ever since the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) was organizing “lousy” rallies across the country, which were attended by government officials and designed to benefit Mr. President Jonathan and his party –  the PDP

Similarly, it  expressed shock that INEC has since  been kept quiet, watching the pro-Jonathan adverts on television and other media, solely for the President’s benefit in next year’s elections.

APC again queried: ”When did INEC become aware that these actions are illegal, considering that Section 221 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which INEC quoted in its warning letter, says ‘no association, other than a political party, shall canvas for votes for any candidate at any election or contribute to the funds of any political party or to the election expenses of any political candidate at an election’”.

What the TAN has been doing all along, APC declared was to canvas for votes for President Jonathan, in a clear violation of the Constitution, as well as the Electoral Act, which bans political campaigns until 90 days before the election.

”Our party, joined by well-meaning Nigerians, had publicly alerted INEC to these campaigns and the fact that those behind them are breaking the law, but INEC merely responded with some unbelievable sophistry. Now that those illegal campaigns have run for several months, INEC suddenly awoke from its slumber to issue a warning on illegal campaign.

”This is unbecoming of an election umpire expected to be taken seriously, an umpire that is expected not only to be fair but to be seen as such and one that knows its onions. This caution by INEC is coming too little, too late,” APC maintained.

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