Ahead of the governorship election in Ekiti in 2018, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Wednesday declared as illegal the current campaigns being embarked on by some aspirants and their agents.
Incumbent governor Ayo Fayose will be replaced as he would no longer be eligible for re-election.
The spokesperson of INEC in the state, Taiwo Gbadegesin, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado Ekiti that all those engaging in such activities would be referred to law enforcement agencies.
He said the commission had noted that some aspirants were erecting billboards as well as opening campaign offices in Ado Ekiti even when the commission had not directed them to do so.
Mr. Gbadegesin also expressed disappointment with the manner some aspirants and their agents had been placing advertisements in the media canvassing the choice of certain individuals ahead of the poll.
According to him, the Electoral Act was explicit on the exact time frame on when and how politicians could begin to either express interest or campaign for elective offices.
“At this stage, we want to take it that those involved are ignorant of what the law says, but we want to assure them that any further action after this warning will compel the commission to refer their cases to law enforcers.
“People must learn to be obedient on simple legal instructions.
“In the pre-election period that ushered in the present governor who is just barely two years in office, this was the way all manner of people began campaigning before the regulatory time frame without any recourse to the commission.
“This did not stop until we reported them to law enforcement agents
“If this crop of politicians or their agents feel they can come around again to cause us sleepless nights, we will be left with no option than to catch up with them and make them to face the consequences of disobeying the law,” he said.
The INEC spokesperson enjoined aspirants and their sympathisers who may not be aware of the relevant electoral guidelines, to contact any of the commission’s state or local government offices for assistance.