Party Leaders Explain Rejection Of INEC's Code

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Some political party leaders in Lagos on Wednesday gave different reasons why their parties did not sign the code of conduct for the April polls.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that party leaders met in Abuja on Tuesday to sign a revised copy of the code of conduct on campaigns, elections, post election issues and party finances. However, only 47 out of the 63 registered political parties in Nigeria signed the document prepared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Code of Conduct provides that no political party should use state resources for its activities.

It also forbids political parties and their agents from forcible occupation or invasion of a polling station, collation centre or INEC office.

The document also prohibits political parties or candidates from using its power of incumbency to prevent other parties or candidates from pasting their posters or distributing their leaflets, among others.

Explaining the reason for not signing the document, the Presidential Candidate of the African Renaissance Party (ARP), Alhaji Yahaya Ndu said the document was meaningless.

“The code of conduct was originally written in 2007 and no article of it was observed.

“Things that the code of conduct was meant to achieve have already been violated,” Ndu, who is also the Chairman of the party, told NAN.

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Sen. Suleiman Salau, National Chairman of Action Alliance (AA), told NAN that his party did not sign the code of conduct because the party was not informed of the ceremony.

“I was not even informed although I was in Calabar last week when the agreement was reached,” he said.

Salau, however, said the code of conduct was in order as it was the wish of politicians that INEC conducted free and fair polls in April.

But Mallam Yusuf Buba, National Chairman of the Advanced Congress for Democrats (ACD), said some parties did not agree to sign the document because of a missing clause. “The only thing why some parties refused to sign the document is because a clause that should have been inserted was not before the Calabar meeting.

“That was why we all wanted to delay the signing but some of us later agreed it should be signed.

“We met last week in Tinapa in Calabar, to review the document and we agreed on everything contained therein,” Buba told NAN.

Chief Udemba Chukwudelue, National Chairman of the National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP), whose party signed the document, said some parties refused to sign because their views were not accommodated.

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