Two major opposition political parties in the country, Labour Party and All Progressives Congress, have berated the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for making a sweeping statement that the commission was compiling a list of electoral law offenders.
Jega had while speaking at an interactive session with editors in Lagos on Monday reiterated the commission’s warning to politicians against violating electioneering rules ahead of 2015 elections. He noted that all the political parties were guilty of violating the electoral laws.
But in their separate reactions in Abuja on Tuesday, LP and APC denounced Jega for not enforcing the electoral law in the face of its flagrant abuse especially by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
The APC said the INEC Chairman, had since lost the moral right and authority to threaten anybody on the issue of early campaigns.
Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigerians expected Jega to speak out when the PDP started its campaign ahead of others.
Mohammed said, “He (Jega) has not impressed anybody. Mu’azu (PDP national chairman) went to Bauchi, Jega did not say anything. The President has been going round, he went to Minna, Sokoto, Ilorin, Imo and he is in Kaduna as we speak, Jega did not say anything. Has he now found his voice?
“It is like an umpire in a football match who has allowed a team to score a goal using their hands shouting that he was to maintain the rules, it is too late”.
Speaking in the same vein, National Chairman of the LP, Chief Dan Nwuanyawu said INEC has since showed that it lacks the courage to discipline political parties found culpable of contravening electoral laws.
The party expressed dismay that INEC leadership has refused to heed its calls on some political parties that are campaigning when the commission was yet to lift the ban on such activity.
Nwanyanwu, said it was wrong for Jega to have made a blanket statement about all the political parties contravening the law when he (Jega) knew the parties that were involved in the illegality and could have specifically mentioned them.
He said, “That statement by Jega was unfortunate. It was unfortunate because we have been calling his attention to the activities of some political parties contravening the electoral law on campaign.
“Instead of mentioning the parties that are involved, he said all e parties. That is wrong and unfortunate. It is not acceptable and we won’t accept that.
“If INEC does no longer has the power to do its job, it must tell us instead of saying all the parties have done this or that.
“We are not campaigning and we are not doing any rally. The commission knows this”.