After initial orders prohibiting political parties from campaigning following the postponement of elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has now approved resumption of political campaigns.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, posted on INEC’s official Twitter page on Monday.
Okoye said the commission took the decision after reviewing its preparations for the elections, as well as consultations with political parties.
He, however, noted that all campaigns must end by Thursday, 21, 2019.
The statement reads, “After consultations with political parties, the Commission has approved that campaigns by parties and candidates can resume forthwith and end by midnight of Thursday, 21st February, 2019.
“Media organizations are at liberty to accept, publish, broadcast and circulate campaign materials up till midnight of Thursday, 21st February, 2019. Political parties and their candidates are enjoined to abide by the extant laws governing campaigns.
“The commission also thanked Nigerians for their understanding regarding the rescheduling of the elections, just as it appealed to stakeholders to be “dispassionate and circumspect in their comments”.
“The Commission is focusing on the elections to be held on 23rd February and 9th March to ensure that they are free, fair and credible. We urge all Nigerians to participate fully in the elections, notwithstanding the disappointment.”
Parties like PDP and APC had earlier voiced their refusal to stick with INEC’s earlier ban on campaigns as it was not in line with the electoral act.