- The INEC has called on politicians to desist from campaigning before the due time
- A representative of INEC said some politicians flout electoral law by engaging in such practices
- The electoral body said it is unfortunate that politicians fail to adhere to the provisions of the law
A former minister of information, Jerry Gana, has received a backlash from an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for flouting electoral laws.
The official of INEC, Mustapha Lekki, decried the rate at which politicians flout electoral law.
Speaking at a town hall meeting on politics and healthcare delivery by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Wednesday, May 2, in Abuja, the former minister said his new party Social Democratic Party (SDP) will provide best health programmes for Nigerians.
Gana who was the chairman of the occasion said the SDP will give, “other political parties a run for their money”.
“We have a robust agenda on health. In writing our manifesto, we consulted vital organs in the health sector and with this plan we have on health, we shall give the other political parties a run for their money.
“A government is not paying attention to health matters is already failing,” he said.
Also commending the passing of the National Health Act into law, Gana said it is gross that the bill is yet to be implemented. He said his party if given the opportunity will ensure that the bill will be full implemented.
However, obviously referring to Gana's statement, Lekki said, it is unfortunate that politicians fail to adhere to the provisions of the law.
Lekki said: “The INEC has set a timetable since January this year and the timetable contains when political party campaign should start and when it should end. For the record, no campaign can start before December 18.
“But now we come to forums like this and people make speeches that amounts to party campaign. This is breaking the rules, but we’ll hold them to account?
“It is gross impunity! We just set the rule but we don’t follow them. INEC has set a timetable and people disregard it and there no consequences."
Also citing section 99 of the Electoral Act, 2010, Lekki said all political party is allowed to commence its campaign 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.
In his reaction, a civil society advocate, Ezenwa Nwagwu, said it is unfortunate that politicans jump from one party to the other during an electioneering period.
Nwagwu said: “The movement of politicians from one party to another is even more shamefully on the rise. There is lack of discipline and party ideology. you can’t event differentiate one party from another.
“Mr Gana was part of the people who wrote the manifesto of the PDP and he is just writing another one for another party and that shows you that in the real sense of it, if you check the manifesto of these political parties, you will not see any significant difference. It’s not even about manifesto writing, its about the implementing the plans."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that Gana and some other top ranking politicians decamped from various parties to the SDP recently.
Also, a former deputy chairman of the PDP Olabode George faulted the decamping of Gana and other politicians from the party.
George however, vowed never to leave the PDP whatever the circumstances may be.
PDP's Magnificent 7 for 2019 - On NAIJ.com TV