Ahead of the 2015 polls, the Labour Party, LP, has warned political parties and politicians in Nigeria to stop using indecorous words and slogans in their electioneering campaigns.
The national secretary of the party, Olukayode Ajulo, gave the warning Thursday.
Mr. Ajulo challenged Nigerians not to rate political office seekers by their robust campaigns and promises but through their past performances as obtained in strong democracies all over the world.
“It is important that our colleagues in other parties realise that the people, particularly the workers, expect result and will not continue to fold their arms while the nation’s common patrimony is allowed to lie fallow,” he said. “The people cannot be taken for granted forever.”
Mr. Ajulo said politicians had in recent times resorted to using offensive words and slogans filled with malicious tantrums instead of being issue-based during campaigns.
“Rather than such bilious verbiage, political campaigns should be an opportunity for political parties to showcase those unusual things they have been able to do and let the people know what goodies they have in stock,” said Mr. Ajulo.
He expressed shock at the way serious national issues were being trivialized during political campaigns in the country, saying that such conducts were against the tenets of fair politicking.
Mr. Ajulo particularly deplored the action of some politicians, who, he said, kicked against President Goodluck Jonathan’s formal declaration for a second term in office.
According to him, Mr. Jonathan had the right, just like every other law-abiding Nigerian, to vie for any office in the country.
Under the 1999 Constitution, he said, Mr. Jonathan was empowered to present himself for election while the same law provides Nigerians with the right to elect or reject him at the polls.
He noted that the president’s declaration, just like those of other aspirants, was a part of the electoral process and had the potential to deepen the country’s democratic culture.
Mr. Ajulo, however, lambasted political office holders, who spent huge sums to inaugurate drainage systems, jetties, ramps and playgrounds with uproarious carnivals towards election periods while backlog of workers’ salaries were pending.
“The job of maintenance of public infrastructure is part of the routine functions of government and should not in any way become a yardstick for measuring performance,” he said.
“Commissioning drainage systems, jetties, ramps and playgrounds on the eve of elections with fanfare, pomp and uproarious carnivals while the salaries of the average workers cannot even take them home offends the people’s sensibilities.”
Given the challenges faced by the country, Mr. Ajulo said Mr. Jonathan’s administration had shown genuine concern for good governance in many areas.
He, however, rejected what he described as the “grand exaggeration” of the president’s performance by some of his aides, noting that such actions hurt rather than advance Mr. Jonathan’s ambition.
He said, “Campaign messages are not meant to be filled with theatrics and fictitious claims, but should rather be concerned with facts and figures and built on the foundation of truth, as the people are neither blind nor deaf, or are they to be taken as fools.”
He, therefore, called on the electorate to always read the lips of politicians each time they mount the soapbox to make declarations.