Election Postponement: INEC ignorant, we’ll reopen campaign – PDP

PDP Head Quarters [Photo: George Ogala]
PDP Head Quarters [Photo: George Ogala]

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is set to reopen its campaign following the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

PREMIUM TIMES reported how INEC postponed the presidential and National Assembly elections from February 16 to 23. State elections were also postponed from March 2 to 9.

The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had on Saturday at a press briefing said campaigns remain stopped for the elections as they had been since last Friday.

The electoral law states that campaigns should end a day to the election. With the postponement, campaigns should continue until next Friday, the PDP argues.

The party made this known in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday evening.

Mr Ologbondiyan said the party rejects the wrongful administrative prohibition of campaigns by INEC.

He said the directive is directly in conflict with the provision of the Electoral Act and is not backed by any other law in the country.

“Our position is predicated on the clear provision of section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act which stipulated that “for the purposes 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,” Mr. Ologbondiyan said.

“The clear import of this provision, in the current situation, is that given the postponement of the election to February 23, 2019, the 24 hours requirement for closure of all public campaigning falls at midnight of February 21.”

He said whenever INEC’s administrative pronouncement conflicts with the Electoral Act, such administrative pronouncement must bow before the law.

He charged INEC to be appropriately guided and directed its members to await further directives ahead of the reopening of its campaign.

The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, earlier made a similar statement.

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