The governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) for the 2023 elections in Rivers State, Victor Fingesi, has stated that the aftermath consultation has discovered that Executive Order 21 imposed on political parties by the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, infringes on human rights and on the Nigerian Constitution.
Fingesi said he would not yield to the governor’s order compelling political parties to pay N5 million for the use of the state public schools and sundry spaces for campaign rallies.
He said his party and some other political parties in the race for the general election in the state are ready to challenge the order legally.
The ADP candidate for governor said this yesterday in Port Harcourt when he talked about how ready he was for the upcoming election and other issues. He also said that Executive Order 21 was harsh and reminded him of Decree 4 from the last military regime.
He said the order aimed at restricting political parties’ activities, rallies, and campaigns is a deliberate slap on democracy and the worst of distractions in the contemporary political system, stressing that: “It is inconsistent with extant laws of the Federal Republic, and at variance with international charters on human rights and peoples’ rights.”
“We must ask questions about why the subtle reintroduction of draconian Decree 4 of the long-forgotten military era, which gagged freedom of assemblies, associations, and speech in whatever shades and forms, hiding under the guise of security breaches.”
“No responsible government would conceive repulsive legislation that hurts people under its watch. It is absolutely abusive and inhuman to restrict and box political parties into an uncharitable corner. There are no two electoral umpires but one, and that is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The Electoral Act is clear on the issues of political parties’ campaigns and rallies, among other activities as the case may be. We should ask questions as to why of Rivers State should be different.
“It may be the right of the government to do what they have done, but it is also the right of citizens to seek redress if such government action infringes on their rights. We have consulted and seen that Executive Order 21 infringes on human rights and the constitution.”
“The ADP, our party, collaborating with other parties and some civil society organisations, are going to court to challenge that draconian order, and we know the court will reverse it. In the event that the court fails to reverse it, I will not pay, and my party will not pay an N5million to Wike.”