#ElectionPostponed: INEC Meets Over Ban On Campaigns
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will meet on Monday (February 18th) to review its disapproval of political campaigns leading to the rescheduled general elections.
This is believed to be in response to the unwillingness of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to obey the INEC directive.
It would be recalled that campaigns by political parties had ended last Thursday, February 14th ahead of polls originally scheduled to hold last Saturday, February 16th.
However, citing logistical and operational issues, INEC had postponed the elections a few hours to the scheduled time and fixed February 23 as the new date.
The commission, through its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had also on Saturday barred further campaigns by political parties.
The two leading parties and other parties, have, however, directed their members to defy INEC and proceed with their campaigns, which they said the law allowed to continue up until 24 hours to the polls.
But according to Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Yakubu, the commission would meet to review its position and decide whether or not to reopen campaigns.
The two leading parties had argued that the commission’s restriction had no basis in law.
The opposition PDP had urged the electoral body to rescind its decision on the suspension of campaigns.
Also reacting, National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, faulted INEC’s decision to postpone the general election on the day of the election.
Oshiomhole, speaking at the APC National Caucus Meeting held in Abuja on Monday, said the ruling party will go ahead with campaigns till Thursday.
He threatened to take INEC to court if it dares to stop APC from campaigning and enlightening Nigerians to vote on Saturday.
He said, “INEC Chairman does not have the right to ask us as a political party not to go out and campaign despite postponing the presidential election.
“We need to start campaigning again to our members who may have forgotten , not campaigning is not good for our party.
“Without insulting INEC, we are proceeding to campaign till Thursday and ready to take INEC to court in regards to laws in the constitution.”
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