By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – Following Thursday’s declaration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that the anti-graft agencies will beam its searchlights on the campaign spending of the various political parties participating in the 2019 elections; the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has warned the agency against nursing any intent to take over the constitutional responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu had on Thursday declared that the agency will monitor the inflow of funds into parties ‘ bank accounts in order to ensure compliance with the Electoral Act.
However, the PDP through its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan yesterday, accused the EFCC of plot to stifle opposition parties to pave way for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The publicity scribe added that though the PDP was not against compliance with financial prudence, the exuberance being exhibited by the EFCC, according to him, is aimed at favouring one party to the detriment of others.
He said, “The PDP as a party is in support of financial discipline and strict compliance with the Electoral Act. But we are saying that the business of monitoring finances of political parties for campaigns belongs to INEC, not the EFCC.
“Magu should dust the files of alleged corrupt elements in the ruling party and stop playing to the gallery. All he is out to do is to intimidate the opposition ahead of the elections but the opposition is more than ready and prepared to send the APC packing come 2019.”
Also speaking on the development, Second Republic governor of Kaduna state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa flayed the anti-corruption for what he termed “its selfish fight against the opposition.”
He said, “The EFCC lacks the courage to monitor the finances of the APC for obvious reasons. It is the opposition they are after. In declaring their intent, they are only out to deceive the public and I urge the public not to allow itself to be deceived.”
While noting that the idea would have been welcomed by majority of Nigerians, Musa however added that “from what they have been doing, it is clear they are out to achieve a predetermined goal.”
Taking a slightly different position, foremost rights activist and co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign, Aisha Yesufu wants EFCC to do a thorough job and ensure that parties which flout the rules are sanctioned.
“It’s good for EFCC to monitor campaign funds. Every campaign must comply with what the law says and must be transparent and accountable.
“There has been a lot of allegations that the ruling party is diverting money to fund election. EFCC must investigate that transparently and according to its mandate and ensure the truth is known and if any breach of law is established; punishment should meted out accordingly,” she told Vanguard.