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Buhari, governors, parties, INEC shun parley on use of public funds for campaigns



At a parley yesterday in Abuja to discuss the implication of the use of treasury resources to finance campaigns by executives at the Presidency, the states and local councils nationwide, none of the chief executives at the various tiers, including President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 governors or their representatives, showed up though they were all invited to the parley.

Also conspicuously absent at the talk-show, organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), a non-governmental body with passion for deepening democracy through the emergence of sound and forthright Nigerians, were political parties’ functionaries and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), except the presidential candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and his supporters.

The Senior Vice President of the CVL, Mr. Rasheed Adgbenro, told The Guardian at the scantly attended function at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers that the Centre reached out widely to all the major stakeholders, including the governors and the relevant personalities at the Presidency and expressed surprise at their absence.

He, however, blamed the poor attendance, particularly by the governors, on the apparent commencement of campaigns for their office, which started this week.

The absence of the key actors, notwithstanding, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Police Force read riot acts to government functionaries thinking they will still deep their hands into the public tilt to fund their campaigns to have a rethink because all political activists are already under the radar and watch of the anti-corruption agency.

The police promised militant leaders and thugs a very hard-time, including those perfecting plans for vote-buying.

Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Ola Olukayode, said the anti-graft agency had already begun the monitoring of all politically- exposed personalities within and outside the country to forestall what he described as a return to the old ways when several billions of state resources were being siphoned for political activities.

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