Speaker Tambuwal says he will make known the direction he will take with regards to his political future at the appropriate time
As politicians get set for the 2015 general election, posters of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha as President and Vice Presidential aspirants were Saturday seen in most of the major streets of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr. Tambuwal and his deputy are members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but PREMIUM TIMES observed that the posters posted today carry the logo of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
The spokesperson of Mr. Tambuwal, Imam Imam, issued a statement late on Saturday stating that Mr. Tambuwal had nothing to do with the posters, even as he advised those behind it to take cognizance of the nation’s laws as regards political campaigns.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has consistently frowned against the flagrant abuse of campaign laws in the country, especially with regards to the 2015 election.
“While we thank them for deeming us fit for elective office in the country, let it be known that since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not given the go-ahead for those interested in elective positions to start mobilisation, it is inappropriate for any person or group to print campaign posters and have them placed in strategic areas all over the country.
“Laws of the Federation are meant to be obeyed by the high and mighty. The Honourable Speaker will make known the direction he will take with regards to his political future at the appropriate time,” the statement said.
PREMIUM TIMES had last week reported how President Goodluck Jonathan has consistently been violating the nation’s laws with regards to early campaigns.
New billboards urging Nigerian voters to vote for Mr. Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election have sprung up at strategic corners of Abuja against repeated warnings by the INEC to politicians not to commence campaign before the stipulated time.
PREMIUM TIMES sighted some of the billboards at the roundabout adjoining Shehu Shagari Way and Ibrahim Babangida Boulevard in the Maitama District as well as the Ahmadu Bello Way/Kur Mohammed Street junction (opposite ThisDay Dome) in the Central Business District of the federal capital territory.
Unlike the previous ones scattered around the country, the new billboards, sponsored by a group, Jonathan Actualization Movement, JAM, are offensive to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2006 (as amended) because it is urging Nigerians to vote for the president.
They read, “2015 VOTE JONATHAN FOR EQUITY INTEGRITY & GOOD GOVERNANCE.”
With green backgrounds, the billboards have the picture of the president adorning the traditional caps and attires of the three major ethnic groups, Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo, on them.
The message on the billboards does not only suggest that the president has been picked by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as its standard bearer, it also indicates that he has opened campaign in violation of the Electoral Act, which specifies that campaigns should commence 90 days before any election.
Section 99 (1-3) of the Electoral Act says: “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.
“A registered political party which through any person acting on its behalf during the 24 hours before polling day”
“Procures for publication or acquiesces in the publication of an advertisement in a Newspaper for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular candidates, commits an offence under this Act and upon conviction is liable to a maximum fine of N500,000.”