Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC), National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has alleged that leaderships of political parties are now merchants who use their platform to trade for endorsements of candidates for the 2019 general election.
He made the allegation when the national leadership of the APC hosted the delegation from the European Union and Democratic Institute at the secretariat yesterday, claiming that some of them are charging exorbitantly to endorse candidates of the major political parties.
“We now have professional civil society groups who are being funded sometimes by political parties or rich men. They sponsor them to go and speak as civil society, but obviously speaking the views of their political pay-masters. The second, which we must pay attention to, is how INEC does accreditation of election monitors.
“It has become a huge fraud that people apply to INEC and it grants accreditation to them and they then come to me, as party chairman, and say, ‘I have this approval and I am ready to give you 100 slots, pay me XYZ so that I can give slots for you to allocate to your people who will pose as election monitors.’
“This is a serious issue which points to the level of corruption in the society. I know you do interface with these people and, sometimes, encourage objective election monitoring. Right now, that process is being compromised.
Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation and former assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said: “There’s been lots of concerns raised about security, security in a number of facets. Lack of confidence in the security services neutrality, and the President (Buhari) responded that he has engaged with the security services and police and told them that they need be neutral. That does not change the fact that there is a perception that the security services are not being neutral.”