Civil rights and political activists have expressed outrage over President Goodluck Jonathan’s failure to halt ongoing political rallies organised by Transformation Association of Nigeria, TAN, for his re-election, despite Mr. Jonathan’s directive against such events amid Ebola spread fears.
TAN has held two rallies in Awka, Anambra State in the South East and Ibadan, Oyo State in the South West zones the last one week, urging Mr. Jonathan to join the presidential race.
The rallies, which have had top government officials in attendance, were held despite Mr. Jonathan’s directive earlier in the month asking religious and political groups as well as other bodies to discourage gatherings and activities that could provide the platforms for close contacts with those infected by the dreaded disease.
Lagos State Government through the Health Commissioner, Jide Idris also gave similar advice.
Critics accused the president of double standard and lambasted him for doing nothing to stop the campaigns for his re-election, even when the law prohibits such political gatherings now.
Lagos lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, expressed anger that the presidential directive banning political rallies, religious gatherings and other large assemblies on account of the highly contagious Ebola virus had been undermined by Mr. Jonathan’s own political exigencies.
According to Mr. Nwagwu, a member of the just-concluded National Conference, in spite of the directive, it was those in government and prominent individuals that have been ignoring the directives to check the spread of the Ebola virus.
“They have the tendency to violate the directives. They go about shaking hands despite these directives. We see them on national television doing that,” he stressed.
A university lecturer, Tunde Akanni, said government’s defiance to its own directive is not surprising because it had always demonstrated the inclination to acting on impulse and therefore insincerity at most times.
Credit: Premium Times