The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 16 poll, Atiku Abubakar, has alleged that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, and his party, were using state apparatus and resources for the elections in violation of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Atiku, in a statement on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe, recalled that the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had in December last year, warned political office holders against using state resources or apparatus for their campaigns, or deploying same against their opponents.
Atiku demanded that INEC issued an immediate cease and desist order to both the Ministry of Information and Culture and the broadcast channels running the campaign materials produced by the ministry.
“Prof Yakubu, who issued the warning at a lecture titled, ‘Political corruption and other emerging issues for the 2019 elections’ in Abuja, noted that the commission had the power to monitor campaign financing and sources of funds according to the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
“However, in negation of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the Buhari administration and the APC have taken to the illegal deployment of state resources to its advantage for the election.
“We wish to remind President Buhari and the APC that the use of state videos released by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is illegal under the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
“The media is awash with advertisements with the hashtag #PMBDIDIT and signed by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and referencing so-called achievements of the APC administration in the states of Abia, Kwara, Lagos, Ebonyi, Delta and Kano, among others.
“These are without doubt 2019 presidential campaign materials produced by the Ministry of Information and Culture using state resources and apparatuses to benefit President Buhari.
“This appalling conduct, which is clearly in violation of Section 100 of the Electoral Act, is even more shocking when it is recalled that the state resources being used to the illegal advantage of President Buhari are being drawn from agencies which for over three years prior to this election failed to perform their duties to the benefit of Nigerian citizens. The Ministry of Information and Culture must stop this illegality immediately.
“We also insist that INEC register the media spendings behind it as part of the APC’s total N1 billion campaign spend limit,” the former Vice President said.