The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has faulted the distribution of bags of rice to civil servants by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Agbaje expressed the position in a statement by Mr Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity on Friday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sanwo-Olu had distributed bags of rice to workers after a meeting with them at the state secretariat, Ikeja, on Thursday.
Agbaje alleged that the bags of rice had on them the logo of the APC on them and their distribution violated civil service decorum and neutrality.
“We find the invitation and the rice gift appalling, opportunistic and illegal.
“In a political contest of the nature in which Sanwo-Olu and the rest of us are involved, he has been offered an undue advantage. An uneven playing field has been created. And this is condemnable and contemptible.
“The gesture goes against Nigeria’s bureaucratic statutes that forbid civil servants romancing politics. For crying out loud, there are still regulations preventing civil servants from involving in politics.
”That invitation and the rice gifts is a violation of those extant rules,” he said.
He claimed that civil servants who refused to show up for the meeting stood the grave danger of being marked down for discrimination, intimidation and witch-hunting.
According to him, it is to maintain neutrality and decorum that soldiers and police were similarly barred from involvement in politics.
Agbaje added that politicians were prevented from campaigning in uniformed personnel’s barracks and formations to preserve the political neutrality of security agencies.
“It is a shame to see civil servants struggling and hurting themselves just to get a small bag of Sanwo-Olu rice.
“But it is even more shameful to subject the crop of Nigeria’s middle-class to such an indignity,” Agbaje said.