The governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party in Rivers State, Leyii Kwanee, has urgef the Independent National Electoral Commission to punish politicians who violate provisions of the new Electoral Act.
Kwanee stressed the need for INEC to invoke its powers and file charges against politicians who run short of the law, especially against the backdrop of the executive order 21 by the state governor, Nyesom Wike, aimed at monopolising the political parties and stiffening political space in the state.
Kwanee, a former deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, made the call while speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
He said, “We wish to commend INEC for her swift response over the undemocratic actions adopted by the outgoing Rivers state PDP-led government by the recent approval of Executive Order 21; which prohibits the use of public schools and sundry places without approval from the Ministry of Education.
“This order also compels political parties to deposit the sum of N5 million as caution fees. This order is capable of creating unhealthy competition and violence in the state; and is inimical to the growth of business and employment opportunities in the state.
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“This Executive Order 21 is aimed at monopolising the political parties and stiffening political space in the state.
“Following our demand for the quick intervention of the electoral empire, INEC has scheduled stakeholders meetings of all political parties and intensified its message of ‘fairplay ‘and political tolerance; while also condemning state prohibiting electioneering campaigns of opposition political parties in their state.”
Continuing, he said, “Hence the INEC has warned the state government not to prevent political parties from campaigning in their domain.
“We, therefore, appeal to INEC to commence the process of sanctioning of the political parties that have approved this on-wholesome restriction of the opposition parties from campaigning in their domain.”