The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to disqualify Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State for the 2019 governorship election over alleged violation of the electoral act.
The party in a release signed by its Publicity Secretary, Taofik Gani and made available to newsmen frowned at the recent staging of a 3 million man match campaign rally for the re-election of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode by a group, Itisiwaju Eko Vanguard, led by one Seyi Bamigbade, noting that it was a breach of the electoral act and election guidelines since the ban on electoral campaign had not be lifted.
The PDP urged INEC and the Nigerian Police Force to demonstrate its readiness to be unbiased and non partisan, stressing that anyone or group who violates the law and whose action would heat on the polity and cause electoral violence should be arrested and disqualified.
The statement further said it was imperative that the perpetrators are arrested for open violation of the electoral law, stressing that it would serve as deterrent to others, adding that failure to respond by the two bodies would mean that the 2019 general elections is already rigged in favour of APC.
The party wondered why the Lagos State government which claim to have performed, was jittery several months to the governorship election and accused the governor of using the state’s funds for his re-election campaign.
“The party is calling on the INEC and Police to manifest the readiness to be unbiased, non partisan and be assertive as we go into the 2019 general elections by using the disqualification and needful arrests of all those who are initiators, perpetrators and intended beneficiaries of pre-election malpractice capable of also overheating the polity and provoking confrontations and violence.
“Such punitive measures by these two important bodies will help serve as deterrent to all others who can also resort to open campaigns even when the time is not ripe and official,” as according to the Lagos State PDP “unless the INEC and Police, exert their powers to guarantee credible election by at least giving their opinions on the recent 3 Million Man March for Governor Ambode, we shall deem the 2019 Lagos governorship election as already rigged for APC.
“The Lagos State PDP is hinging her said call to disqualify Governor Ambode and APC from participating in the 2019 Lagos governorship election on the heels of the self confession of a group ‘itesiwaju ipinle Eko Vanguard’ led by one Mr Seyi Bamigbade that they organised a 3 Million Man March for Governor Ambode’s re-election in 2019.
“Such exercise at this period is a breach of the electoral act and elections guidelines as INEC has not declared political campaign permissible. Indeed we strongly believe that the exercise must have been directly induced, midwife and sponsored by the state government, using Lagos tax to over reach other persons and political parties in the 2019 elections.
“It is also laughable that an acclaimed performing governor can be so jittery of re-election that over twelve months to the contest, he is already using state funds to jump start campaign even against the electoral Act and good conscience.
“Though we know that the claimed 3 Million Man March is a fluke and propagandists, but since they have made the self confession, then Mr Seyi Bamigbade and his members of the organising group should be arrested for electoral misconduct,” he said.