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Foreigners’ presence in political parties’ campaign rallies



RIVAL parties raised the alarm over presence of two governors from  Niger Republic at a campaign rally of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano. The governors Issa Moussa of Zinder and  Zakiri Umar of Maradi were  in the event reportedly dressed in the uniform of the political party to show solidarity to the APC.

THE incidence, according to opposition parties  and some concerned Nigerians was a violation of Nigeria’s electoral law and an evidence of desperate attempts  to win the presidential election at all cost.

NATIONAL Light believes that the presence of foreign supporters of APC in the Kano rally is unsettling as it has added to growing anxiety over the reinforced activities of the Boko Haran insurgents in the North-East part of the country.

We would like to see a situation where the electoral laws are strictly observed and the security agencies well equipped to safeguard the lives of  the voters, officials and INEC materials in  violence-prone areas, such as the parts of northern Nigeria in which the country share international boundaries with Niger Republic in the during the 2019 general elections.

WE BELIEVE that voters and well meaning Nigerians are keen and geared up to exercise their franchise and wish that the forthcoming general election will be free, fair and transparent so as to usher in a new era of socio-economic and sustainable development of the country.

WE BELIEVE further that the Immigration officers and the Nigerian Police Force should restrict foreigners, such as those  who attended the political rally from transforming suddenly into voters in Nigerian polls .

This is vital because the  influx of herdsmen from the Sahel Region has reinforced  rumours that names of foreigners, even the under aged now appear in  the voters register. Unfortunately, INEC has neither debunked the allegation nor allayed the fears of the Nigerian electorate on this score.

IT IS also apposite to state that such unprecedented act as that of the two Nigerien governors wearing foreign  political campaign attire is seriously condemned in any country irrespective of the diplomatic relationship between two countries.

Such developments must be condemned in strong terms and never be allowed to repeat itself in  the interest of free, fair and transparent polls. The integrity of the INEC’s assurances of free and violent-free polls must not be compromised.

TIME has therefore come for a review of the ECOWAS Protocol which gives unhindered access to citizens of West African region into neighbouring countries, at least to avoid  spread of unclear political security or into sinister religious agenda.

THE unrelenting onslaught of Boko Haram in the North-East should bestir the country to be serious about the influx of foreigners into the country in whatever guise.  The campaign rally in Kano should be an eye opener on the looming danger of unchecked infiltration of foreigners. More so, given the menace of dire devil  itinerant  herdsmen across the country, hence the imperative of reviewing the ECOWAS Protocol which has proved to have deleterious effects on the socio-economic well-being of Nigerians.

NATIONAL Light believes that it is unlikely that the security agencies would have allowed foreign dignitaries to adorn attires and logo of the opposition political parties and join their presidential campaign rallies but urges vigilance during this period of general elections.

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