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Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns - Politics - Nairaland

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Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by LRNZH(m): 7:07am On Jan 18, 2015


President Goodluck Jonathan has deployed the jets in the presidential fleet for campaigns, while almost all state governors have been using the resources of their states for the February general elections, SUNDAY PUNCH’s investigations have shown.

A few weeks ago, political parties signed a code of conduct, which states that the use of government resources for political campaigns is unlawful. The Code is a document prepared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2013.

A part of the code of conduct states, “All political parties shall separate party business from government business. No political party shall use state vehicles or other public resources for any electioneering campaigns or any other party business.”

But contrary to the code of conduct, since Jonathan commenced his campaigns across Nigeria, virtually all the 11 jets in the presidential fleet have been used for one campaign trip or the other.

The Presidential Air Fleet include two Falcon 7X jets, two Falcon 900 jets, Gulfstream 550, one Boeing 737 BBJ (Nigerian Air Force 001 or Eagle One), and Gulfstream IVSP. Others are one Gulfstream V, Cessna Citation 2 aircraft and Hawker Siddley 125-800 jet.

The PAF is about the third largest domestic airline in the country, coming behind Arik Air, which has over 21 aircraft, and Aero Contractors, with about 12 planes.

Senior officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja told one of our correspondents on Friday that the brand of airplane and the number used by the President to any state depended on the size of the airport in the state, the number of persons in his entourage, as well as “other factors best known to the Presidency.”

The Presidency on Saturday however said there was nothing stopping Jonathan from using all the paraphernalia of his office while going round the country to seek votes.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH.

Okupe said there was nowhere in the world were incumbents are stopped from using their official cars while going on campaign trips.

Okupe said, “I am not aware of such code of conduct. You can check anywhere in the world. I watched Obama’s campaign, was he going around in taxis or private cars? When the governor of Lagos State was seeking re-election, was he going for campaigns in private cars?

“A sitting President has all paraphernalia of office anywhere he goes. The same applies to governors. They are not ordinary citizens, so when you are contesting against them, you know you are contesting against an institution. There is nothing you can do about that.

“I don’t think that code of conduct exists. So they want the President to be going about in one Peugeot 505 to seek votes? What about policemen? Are they not government officials? Are they not supposed to follow him because he is campaigning?

“It simply does not make sense. If INEC had such a document, let them publish it for us to see.”


State governors are also not left out of using state vehicles and resources to campaign.

In Kwara, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed; his deputy, Mr. Peter Kisira; and a former governor of the state, who is currently the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as well as their retinue of aides have been campaigning with government vehicles.


Sources informed one of our correspondents that bills for party members’ mobilisation and logistics for the campaign were allegedly footed by the state government.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, however said the state government was aware of INEC regulations prohibiting state governments from sponsoring campaigns.

Akorede said, “The APC is responsible for campaigns and all associated expenses. The flag off was funded by the party from members’ contributions, as well as donations by aspirants, their supporters and other party members. It is not true that the Ahmed administration funded the APC campaign.”

Similarly, the PDP-controlled government in Cross River has been campaigning for all the party’s candidates at all levels using government-owned vehicles. Some government vehicles have been seen in different parts of the state spotting the stickers of PDP candidates.

A top government official who preferred anonymity said, “If you think they will not use government funds to run campaigns, then you must be joking. You do not expect a governor or even the president to appear at campaign venues with private securities and personal vehicles when they are in control of the resources. It happens even in the United States.”

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Liyel Imoke, Mr. Christian Ita, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the governor would not drop his official designation because of campaigns.

Ita said, “This debate had been on for quite some time now. The governor cannot afford not to be governor because of political campaigns.”

In Kaduna, the administration of Governor Mukhtar Yero is also using state resources to promote the members of the ruling PDP.

Yero at different fora boasted that the government would deploy both material and human resources to trounce the main challenger, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Nasir el-Rufai.

Yero, at the flag-off of his 2015 governorship campaign, rode in his official Mercedes Benz E Class 350.
He has also toured the 23 local government areas of the state with the same vehicle.

Aside from fuelling and maintaining the vehicles, SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that most of the campaign vehicles, especially those acquired for the Kaduna State chapter of the Goodluck/Sambo 2015 Presidential Campaign Organisation were procured with state funds.

A competent government source said, “Recently, about 30 vehicles were procured for the purpose of campaigning for the Jonathan/Sambo presidency. These vehicles are fully financed by the state government under the guise of donation from political associates.”

Also in Ogun State, since Governor Ibikunle Amosun, kicked off his governorship re-election campaign tours two weeks ago, his official Toyota Sports Utility Vehicle and about five other SUVs, including Toyota Hilux vans and other official vehicles, were in the governor’s convoy to Ijebu Igbo, Remo North, Imekon Afon, Ewekoro and Ijebu North East Local Government Areas.

The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, however said the only official vehicles on the campaign train were those of the governor and that of the security agents.

He said, “Whoever is saying the governor is using the state resources to campaign should come and prove that. The governor uses his official vehicle and all the other ones you are seeing in the convoy are the ones bought by the campaign committee of the party, and they are appropriately branded and APC boldly written on them.

“The other vehicles that join the campaign train are that of security agents. And I don’t know any operational rule that says the security personnel assigned to the governor should use other vehicles.

“Again, there are vehicles that belong to friends of the governor and those of individual candidates. Those of the candidates are branded in their names. So what are they talking about?”

Same is happening in Rivers State where the All Progressives Congress is the ruling party. Our correspondent reports that luxury buses belonging to the state government are being used during campaigns.

A party chieftain who pleaded anonymity described the funding of campaign rallies as an “expensive venture.” He explained that it would be difficult for any candidate to win without government ‘support.’ Efforts to reach the Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr. Tony Okocha, to speak on the allegation failed as he said he he was attending a rally of the party and promised to call back. He failed to do this.

Similarly, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, does not pretend that he is supporting the state Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, in every way he can.

The governor has boasted that if an incumbent governor does not support any aspirant during elections, such aspirant is bound to be defeated.

Twenty-two aggrieved PDP governorship aspirants in the state had alleged that the governor spent N1.2bn to secure delegates’ votes for Emmanuel.

One of the delegates in the PDP governorship primary said, “Apart from making government vehicles and buildings available for the campaign, the governor has been spending a lot of money to ensure that his candidate wins.”

The APC on Saturday denied allegations that it was using government vehicles to campaign in states under its control.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Lai Mohammed, said this in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH.

He explained that he was not aware of any breach of the Independent National Electoral Commission Code of Conduct.

Mohammed said, “I am not aware of any breach by our party. I am not aware that any of our governors is using official vehicles for campaign.

“We only hope that the law applies to all parties including Mr. President and the ruling party, we hope he will not use the Presidential jet on his campaign train.”


Lawyers Kick
Some lawyers have condemned the use of public resources by elected public officers for electioneering campaigns.

One of them, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, said the trend was “a consolidation of the absurdity and aberration that have remained with us for some time.”

He said it was the same act of absurdity that had played out when the head of the National Orientation Agency accepted an appointment into the campaign committee of President Goodluck Jonathan.


Ogunye said, “If public officers would not mind to be appointed to serve on a campaign committee of a candidate in an election, why will elected officers not see public resources at their disposal as a fair game?

“The practice is improper and it is prohibited not only by code of conduct for political parties but also public officers. It is condemnable; it confers undue advantage on those occupying office.”


Another lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje, said the act was a reflection of the culture of impunity that had dominated the country.

He said, “But for the culture of impunity that is cascading our political landscape and which, regrettably, has become public policy, why will anybody use facilities that is maintained by public purse for his campaigns?

“The act violates Sections 92 and 100(2) of the Electoral Act because public resources cannot be used for election expenses.”


Another lawyer, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, said the violation of the code of conduct and the Electoral Act had also extended to the use of public funds.

Ugwummadu said the act deprived the opposition parties the level playing field they deserved.

Parties responsible for compliance —Jega
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, however, stated that it was the responsibility of political parties to ensure compliance with the code of conduct.

His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kayode Idowu, referred SUNDAY PUNCH to Section 3 (17) of the code which states, “All political parties shall discourage their members in government from using their power of incumbency to the disadvantage of other parties or their candidates during campaigns.”

Section 10(4) also states: “Any dispute which cannot be resolved between parties shall be reported to the IPAC which shall give it a fair and expeditious hearing/s. The IPAC is empowered to recommend to INEC appropriate sanctions on erring political parties. This is without prejudice to the right of parties and their candidates or agents to pursue other legal actions.


http://www.punchng.com/news/jonathan-defies-inec-deploys-presidential-jets-for-campaigns/

1 Like

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by sleekp1: 7:15am On Jan 18, 2015
Okupe said, “I am not aware of such code of conduct. You can check anywhere in the world. I watched Obama’s campaign, was he going around in taxis or private cars? When the governor of Lagos State was seeking re-election, was he going for campaigns in private cars?


Good question to apc: When the governor of Lagos State was seeking re-election, was he going for campaigns in private cars?

yet they want jonny boy to use taxi, this is because they want to kill him.

49 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by LRNZH(m): 7:19am On Jan 18, 2015
sleekp1:

Okupe said, “I am not aware of such code of conduct. You can check anywhere in the world. I watched Obama’s campaign, was he going around in taxis or private cars? When the governor of Lagos State was seeking re-election, was he going for campaigns in private cars?


@bolded...why deny about knowledge of the code of conduct signed by all political parties?

Either clueless or pathological liar. The hallmark of PDP.

Contrast that with Lai Mohammed's response.
Anyway, I see opportunity for lawsuits here by aggrieved parties after elections.

88 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by sleekp1: 7:24am On Jan 18, 2015
LRNZH:


@bolded...why deny about knowledge of the code of conduct signed by all political parties?

Either clueless or pathological liar. The hallmark of PDP.

But the governors are doing the same thing. tell me one incumbent governor not using state aparatus to seek votes. Just name ONE, only ONE.

KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK

35 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by LRNZH(m): 7:32am On Jan 18, 2015
sleekp1:


But the governors are doing the same thing. tell me one incumbent governor not using state aparatus to seek votes. Just name ONE, only ONE.

Your question does not address my point about Okupe denying knowledge of the signed code of conduct. He's a liar or just clueless like GEJ.

To address your question, the President is supposed to lead by example since he has allowed PDP to agree to the code of conduct. The argument they're making now should have been the reason not to sign the code of conduct in the first place and the electoral act should have been amended to specify to what extent an incumbent can use state resources for electoral campaign.

Finally, what the governors do does not give the President the moral right to break the law. He's supposed to call them to order. But GEJ is leading them to break the law this one.

Or are you saying the Governorship of Lagos is equivalent to the Presidency? So if Lagos and US allegedly do it, GEJ can do it? grin

Nigeria na lawless country. Sai Buhari.

117 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Nobody: 7:33am On Jan 18, 2015
Gej. Otuoke is ready 4 u
Saiiiii. BaBa
SaiII Buhari

43 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Nobody: 7:34am On Jan 18, 2015
LRNZH:


@bolded...why deny about knowledge of the code of conduct signed by all political parties?

Either clueless or pathological liar. The hallmark of PDP.

Contrast that with Lai Mohammed's response.
Anyway, I see opportunity for lawsuits here by aggrieved parties after elections.
LWKMD if this is what APC are hoping on to nullify GEJ's victory at the courts. You are on a long thing

11 Likes

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by ORACLE1975(m): 7:36am On Jan 18, 2015
never mind hmmm
Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Nobody: 7:37am On Jan 18, 2015
GEJ to Anambra people: the steel for the Niger bridge has been imported.. GMB to Kogi: we will revive Ajaokuta steel.. LOOOL spot the diff"

78 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by LRNZH(m): 7:39am On Jan 18, 2015
chukwudi44:

LWKMD if this is what APC are hoping on to nullify GEJ's victory at the courts. You are on a long thing

GEJ is not winning. I was referring to state elections. Accept my apologies for misleading you to build a bubble. grin

43 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by joseph1832(m): 7:39am On Jan 18, 2015
chukwudi44:

LWKMD if this is what APC are hoping on to nullify GEJ's victory at the courts. You are on a long thing
"Don't count your chickens before it hatch"

18 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Nobody: 8:06am On Jan 18, 2015
no wahala
Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by SweetJoystick(m): 8:09am On Jan 18, 2015
Hmm all are guilty then if such exists

1 Like

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by PassingShot(m): 8:15am On Jan 18, 2015
chukwudi44:

LWKMD if this is what APC are hoping on to nullify GEJ's victory at the courts. You are on a long thing


GEJ's victory? I laugh in Swahili.

39 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by debo07(m): 8:39am On Jan 18, 2015
Even though I don't like GEJ one bit I don't see anything wrong with him going for campaigns in presidential jets.He can't board commercial airlines.But one tin I will say is dat the jets are too much haba!!!almost 9 or 10.He has always been misplacing priorities....SAI BUHARI

14 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by korel9: 8:40am On Jan 18, 2015
So? angry

Wait first, do you want our C-in-C to enter "Ekene dili chukwu" to his campaign venues in other states? angry


Another storyline for your propagandashit joor undecided

5 Likes

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by jingh(f): 8:40am On Jan 18, 2015
Teacher: what is a lawless government ?

student:A GEJ regime

Teacher: you are wrong ?

student: you must be his student sir


buhari for President
#buhari4change

37 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by kingstylo01(m): 8:41am On Jan 18, 2015
jingh:
Teacher: what is a lawless government ?

student:A GEJ regime

Teacher: you are wrong ?

student: you must be his student sir


buhari for President
#buhari4change
the student must be wrong because he wasn't there when buhari Killed innocent Nigerians,
Tell me, isn't this heartless, lawlessness and human rights violation of the highest order?

SMH.. I wonder what type of change a human right violator wants to bring!

7 Likes

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Anikulhapo(m): 8:41am On Jan 18, 2015
.

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by dguyindcorner(m): 8:42am On Jan 18, 2015
GMB/PYO TILL 2023

11 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by gen2briz(m): 8:42am On Jan 18, 2015
If him like make she give Stella odua money to purchase BMW for him, na still GMB.
#changeispossible
#changejonathan
Together we can make it happen.

4 Likes

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by skak(m): 8:42am On Jan 18, 2015
Haba Jona! while using Government properties don't forget Kiri kiri de and GMB de ooo! I worn you never scratch this vehicles.

#UpGMB

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by LordMecuzy(m): 8:43am On Jan 18, 2015
Febuhari

5 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Spamola1: 8:43am On Jan 18, 2015
Is wa o

1 Like

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by emmysexxy(f): 8:43am On Jan 18, 2015
shocked
Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by PerfumeRepublik: 8:44am On Jan 18, 2015
Its too early to be trolling
Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by That2: 8:45am On Jan 18, 2015
He deserved what Amaechi did to him!

9 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Sunymoore(m): 8:45am On Jan 18, 2015
Good
Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by watchindelta(m): 8:46am On Jan 18, 2015
Ok note.
Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by Tee999: 8:47am On Jan 18, 2015
So presidency have upto 11 jets and Nigerian airways is no where?

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by tunapius(m): 8:47am On Jan 18, 2015
GEJ don jara e

2 Likes

Re: Jonathan Defies INEC- Deploys Presidential Jets For Campaigns by dvee2: 8:50am On Jan 18, 2015
It is true that Obama uses Airforce one to campaign but that was only after an equivalent aircraft was provided to Romney to even out things. Similar the same vehicle that Obama was using was issued to Romney, the only difference in the two vehicle is the stamp of office on Obamas vehicle. Therefore it is wrong for GEJ or any governor to use official properties for campaign.

7 Likes 1 Share

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