INEC, Paul Atser, Politics

Ban on campaigns still in force, INEC tells Kwara politicians


• Tension in Taraba as Ishaku seals governorship aspirant’s office

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned politicians in Kwara State to stop erecting campaign billboards and posters, as the ban on political campaign was still in force.INEC Administrative Secretary in the state, Paul Atser, gave the warning in a statement yesterday in Ilorin.

“The attention of INEC has been drawn to the emergence of campaign bill boards, posters and campaigns on the electronic media.“The commission wishes to reiterate that campaign either through bill boards, posters and on electronic media by aspirants and political parties now is ill-timed,” the statement reads.He added that political campaigns would not commence until 90 days to the general elections.

“Campaign in any form at this point contravenes Section 99 (I) of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), which provides a 90-day gap before polling day for the commencement of campaigns by all political parties,” he added.

Meanwhile, the misgivings between the Taraba State government and the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has again taken a different dimension as the state government has sealed the campaign office of an APC governorship aspirant, Aliyu Omar.The campaign office, located a few meters to Government House, Jalingo, has been under lock and key by heavily armed security operatives, a situation which is causing palpable tension in the state.

Spokesman to the aspirant, Kabir Jalo, in a statement yesterday urged the government, to as a matter of urgency, open the facility or face litigation, adding that the action was despicable under a democratic setting.Wondering why the state government decided to seal the building for no justifiable reasons, counsel to the campaign office, requested the state government to vacate the premises immediately or face court action.

“The building, located on No. 3 Abubakar Barde Way, was sealed off last Sunday by tough looking gun-toting policemen led by Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Governor Darius Ishaku,” Jalo said.

Responding, Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Jumai Alhassan, said no stones would be left unturned to compel the state government to do the needful.When contacted, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicly, Bala Dan Abu, denied knowledge of the incident but promised to get back to the reporter.Also commenting on the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), David Misel, said he was not aware that the office was sealed, but promised to investigate the matter and get back as soon as possible.