The Lagos State gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olajide Adediran popularly called Jandor, has alleged that the petition before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by a Civil Society Organisation, Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), alleging that breach of 2022 Electoral Act was sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state.
Jandor described the petition before INEC against his documentary aired to celebrate young Nigerians across the country, particularly youths in Lagos, during International youths day as baseless and should be ignored.
According to him, the ruling party has found itself in an abyss of public opprobrium and in recent times, has been throwing tantrums over his rising popularity and that of the Lagos PDP.
The PDP gubernatorial candidate’s response was contained in a statement signed by Head, Media, and Communications of JANDOR4Governor Campaign Organization, by Gbenga Ogunleye, made available to newsmen on Thursday after the Executive Chairman of CPPM, Nelson Ekujumi, wrote to INEC to raise concerns over the contravention.
He maintained that the Lagos PDP would not be distracted from the vision to offer a breath of fresh air to the good people of Lagos state, especially the youths who have suffered untold hardship and total neglect from the corrupt and clueless APC-led state government and its godfather for over two decades.
According to the statement, “We wouldn’t have dignified the rabble-rouser with a response since we are sure that INEC, as the unbiased umpire will educate him and his paymasters on the difference between electioneering campaign and sensitization awareness on International Youth Day. But for the need to expose the charlatans from misleading the public, this response became necessary.
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“Jandor and the Lagos PDP are well aware of the provisions of the Electoral Law 2022 on electioneering campaigns and have not in any way taken any action in violation of the law. All the registered political parties are allowed to engage in political sensitization, voters’ education, and awareness before the official kick-off time for electioneering campaigns.
“It is of public knowledge that even the APC and its guber candidate have taken huge advantage of this provision to the point of preventing other political parties from the use of advert space in the state while he consistently inundates the voting public with his ambition to seek another term in office with his messages of “Lekan si” on different media spaces. Even its presidential candidate is everywhere with his “Emi lokan” political appeal,” the PDP candidate stated.
“The content of the documentary claimed to have violated the Electoral Law would not have been aired by Arise TV or any other national television if it had violated any known law, stressing that they expect the APC to find fault in any efforts to commend and motivate the resilient Nigerian youths who they have tagged “the Lazy Youths” especially on the occasion of the International Youth Day because of the memory of the sad event of the massacre of some youths during the End SARS protests still hunt them.
“We, therefore, enjoin the voting public to ignore the baseless sponsored petition and to continue to get prepared to massively vote out the APC in the 2023 general elections,” the statement further added.
Earlier, Ekujumi’s group had alleged that the governorship candidate and his running mate, Olufunke Akindele popularly called Jenifa, as well as a Lagos PDP house of representatives candidate, Bankole Wellington popularly called Banky W, violated INEC regulations on electioneering campaigns.
The group stressed that Jandor, and others breached the 2022 electoral act after they started canvassing for votes ahead of next year’s election before INEC signaled the commencement of the campaign for the poll.
It stated that Jandor and others in an utter violation of the law sponsored a documentary aired on national television to commemorate the 2022 International Youth Day which was filled with campaign messages for the candidate and PDP.
The group alleged the PDP candidates wilfully and flagrantly violated not only section 94 (1) of the Electoral Act, but also the publicly published INEC guidelines on the 2023 elections by commencing political campaigns well ahead of the official kick-off date.