The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed INEC for acting too little, too late by issuing a warning on illegal public political broadcast and campaign, saying INEC’s belated action is highly suspicious.
In a statement issued in London on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said INEC’s action, coming after the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan have been campaigning endlessly for the 2015 elections, can 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 APC wondered where INEC was when the so-called Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) was organizing noisy rallies across the country, attended by government officials and designed to benefit President Jonathan and his party, the PDP.
The party also expressed shock that INEC has been in a deep slumber since the so-called Protectors of Nigeria’s Posterity have been running adverts on television solely for the benefit of President Jonathan in next year’s elections.
‘’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’,’’ it queried.
APC said what TAN has been doing all along is 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 election.
‘’Our party, joined by well-meaning Nigerians, had publicly alerted INEC to these campaigns and the fact 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 that expects 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 said.