The leadership of the House of Representatives yesterday frowned at the “desperation” by some politicians and their supporters, who have been staging political campaigns – in violation of the Electoral Act.
This is just as the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives, has threatened to sue President Goodluck Jonathan and any other persons sponsoring various campaign groups, including Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) and some electronic media houses, for violating the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Section 99 (1-3) of the Electoral Act states:
“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.
“A registered political party which through any person acting on its behalf during the 24 hours before polling day procures for publication or acquiesces in the publication of an advertisement in a newspaper for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular candidate, commits an offence under this Act and upon conviction is liable to a maximum fine of N500,000”.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal in his welcome remarks on the resumption from the long recess, said in spite of the clear guidelines in the Electoral Act, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is acting at variance with its responsibilities.
His words: “The election year 2015 is still unborn, as far as the prescriptions of the Electoral Act and INEC Regulations and Guidelines are concerned, but for some, desperation has already taken over. As we conduct ourselves with due regard to the serious security challenge of insurgency and terrorism with bloodletting on the rise and the general volatile political atmosphere, the people should be our prime focus because without the people there will be no country and therefore nothing to represent or to govern”.
House of Reps Minority Leader and APC Caucus Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in an exclusive chat with The Nation said:
“It’s a big problem. The electoral law is very clear; you cannot begin to campaign until 90 days before a general election. And continuously the president and the PDP,
“They’ve been doing these things for not today, not yesterday, not last week; it’s been going on for months now. It’s the impunity that we’ve always been talking about that people don’t listen. Now it has come home to roost”.