By Chuks Okocha
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday cautioned the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu to avoid the temptation of using the just inaugurated South-west Security Network, the Amotekun in rigging the October 19 governorship election in the state.
He also chided the federal government for signing into law the controversial Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), stating that government had no business in church activities.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 147 man PDP National Campaign Team, Secondus said, “Intelligence available to us shows that the outgoing APC Government in Ondo State in its panic has hurriedly gone ahead to launch the local security outfit, Amotekun, with the aim of deploying them to intimidate and harass opponents.
“We want to warn that state security outfits are at experimental stages and any abuse will mean the end of it. The people of the South-west desired Amotekun, to secure them, anything otherwise would be undermining the will of the people,” he stated.
He called on the federal government to remain neutral in the October 10 governorship election, explaining that, “This government can do this by ensuring that they respect the Constitution and the Electoral Act as well as the ruling of Supreme Court of Nigeria that say that security operatives particularly the military should not meddle on election matters outside providing adequate and equal security to all the parties within the requirements of the law.”
PDP, Secondus said, expect that in both Edo and Ondo states elections, the military should be kept out of it completely and Police and other security agencies who are supposed to be at election venues should be made to operate within the dictates of the law.
Also, Secondus charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to refuse to be intimidated and strive to always carry out their duties strictly as set out by the law.
Secondus who called on the federal government to reverse the CAMA law, said, “I will not end this address without putting a word on the raging debate on the newly signed controversial bill, the Company and Allied Matters Acts, CAMA. The new law permits the Registrar General of Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and supervising Minister to strictly supervise and scrutinise the financial operations of non-governmental organisations including religious places as well change their trustees.
“I find this needless especially at this time that a government that is confronted with myriads of problems and with loopholes in every government department they cannot block wants to look into the finances of religious places as their priority,” he said.
The national chairman of PDP asked, “Has any church or Mosques complained of financial misappropriation? And even if they do, these religious houses have internal mechanism of resolving their problems including changing their leaders not for government that is engrossed in corruption to do it for them.
“The government and the National Assembly should revisit this law because the nation’s numerous challenges need the good will of the people especially the praying houses.”, he explained
He condemned the rush with which the CAMA law passed and signed into laws, saying, “We also note the curious rush to pass and sign this controversial law by the National Assembly and the President and wonders why such speed cannot be seen in critical laws like the amendment and quick signing of the Electoral Act”.
Also speaking, the chairman of the PDP National Campaign Committee, Governor Seyi Makinde said that the October 10 governorship election was a choice between progress and stagnation as well as liberation from induced hardship by the APC led government
He wondered how Governor Akeredolu would unnecessarily inflict hardship on the people in the name of governance.
The Oyo State governor also called on government agencies like INEC and security agencies to be neutral in the October 10 governorship election in the state.
He said, “One of our responsibilities is to go into the election united. We are doing everything possible to make sure all our members and leaders in Ondo State come together. I don’t have an atom of doubt that Ondo will soon come under the PDP.
“We are not afraid of competition, we will highlight all the desirable features of our candidate. The election of 10/10/2020 is about choice between progress and stagnation, it is a choice between continued hardship and prosperity. The PDP is presenting the people of Ondo State the right choice. We are not asking INEC to favour us, we only ask that they do their work and be neutral”, Governor Makinde stated.