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TMG warns against using state resources for political campaigns

Logos of Political parties.

A Non-governmental organization, Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has warned against the use of state resources by public office holders for campaigns and other political party activities.

In a statement, the TMG Chairman, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, who doubles as the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, observes that the use of taxpayers’ funds and collective resources of Nigerians to fund personal political ambition is totally unacceptable.

The group said: “We are living witnesses to how ministers and other top public office holders use state apparatus such as government jets, public cars as well as funds to run their personal ambitions which wrongfully does not create a level playing ground and is a bad omen for our democracy.”

Mr Rafsanjani said irrespective of the enormous challenges facing the country at this moment, it was shocking and alarming, that aspirants and public officers still had the audacity to run for offices with scarce state resources.

The TMG Boss decried the exorbitant amount of money being demanded on the nomination and expression of interest forms to contest in party primaries, saying that such amounts could only be afforded by people with access to corrupt funds and those with plans to recoup their wealth when elected into public office.

He, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, and anti-corruption agencies to spotlight the huge exchange of money at party conventions.

He urged that they should monitor the way aspirants bribe delegates with various sums of money stating that the quantum of resources doled out by aspirants usually in international currencies like the United States dollar had depicted that the highest bidder usually wins elections.

He advised INEC to ensure that parties submit their audit reports as required.

Mr Rafsanjani equally charged political appointees and other public servants aiming for elective positions to tender their resignation noting that political appointees were mandated to resign their appointments as conditions to contest the forthcoming election in adherence to Section 84, of the electoral Act recently signed into law.

He said that the TMG and its members would vigorously observe the conduct of the primary elections and make sure that there was adequate compliance with the electoral law to ensure that there is electoral transparency in the country.

Writing by Bose Ijelekhai; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino