INEC bans election posters, threatens sanctions against violators

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The electoral body threatens to wield the big stick.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has banned the display of electioneering posters and the airing of election messages, threatening sanctions against violators ahead of the 2015 elections.

The electoral body said it was poised to enforce the law limiting electioneering campaigns to three months before polling day.

“It is observed that campaign posters are being indiscriminately displayed, while electioneering broadcasts are being aired outside the statutory provision for campaigning towards elections into various elective offices,” INEC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Kayode Idowu.

“This trend is unhealthy and portends ill for the political process. Indeed, it is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.”

Campaign posters, mainly those for the 2015 presidential elections, have recently flooded parts of Abuja.

In the past few weeks, posters of Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido and Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi-both under the Peoples Democratic Party; and those of former military head of state, Muhammadu Buhari- under the proposed All Progressive Congress; have appeared in several parts of the federal capital.

The leaders have all denied any responsibility for the bills, claiming they were the handiwork of “mischief makers”.

The electoral body, INEC, said the posters were “heating up the polity”, and it will act to stop the trend.

“The Commission hereby reminds all players of the provision of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), which states as follows:

“For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”

Political parties are advised to note that campaigning outside this provision is a violation of the law, and the Commission will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against culprits as provided by relevant sections of the law,” the statement said.

It called on security agents to apprehend violators of the rule, whose activities in this regard pose a threat to public order.

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