2018 Ekiti guber: New REC warns against premature campaigns


Politicians in Ekiti State who engage in campaign for votes before the sound of the whistle risk going to jail, the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Prof Abdul-Ganiy Raji has warned.

Raji threatened that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will  invoke Section 99 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which forbids campaign for votes earlier than 90 days to the election, against any political party or individuals breaking the law.

He said the punishment for the unlawful action, which some politicians complained was common to the two major political parties in the state, the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is six months jail term or N500,000 fine, if taken to court.

Raji was brought to Ekiti last month to replace Mr. Sam Olumekun, who was transferred to Edo State prior to the 2015 governorship poll.

Speaking after a stakeholders’ meeting with politicians in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, Raji said the prohibition will cover jingles being aired on radio and television as well as the billboards erected at strategic locations, bearing the portraits of aspirants announcing or advertising their governorship intentions.

Raji’s warning followed complaints from some political parties that both the PDP and APC are allegedly using state and Federal media to gain undue advantage.

The REC said: “I said this at the Election Security Committee being attended by heads of security outfits. The enforcement is not within our purview but the law is very clear. This is the more reason why media houses should scrutinize the jingles brought to them because the NBC is monitoring closely.

“The section said no campaigning or announcing yourself as potential aspirant or candidate until 90 days to election. This attracts sanctions and it is constitutionally wrong.”

On the fairness craved by party leaders, Raji said: “If I or any of my staff is not ready to maintain fairness during elections, then we have no business in INEC”, he said.

He said the electoral umpire will be apolitical and uphold the tenets of ‘integrity, honesty, dignity, neutrality and fairness as expected from INEC as a statutory body saddled with the conduct of elections.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Kola Oluwawole, charged politicians to play by the rules before, during and after the election, saying : “the moment you play the game according to the rules, there won’t be any problem

“Ekiti is an homogenous state. We are all brothers and we have no reason to fight. Election is like a football. When winner emerges, the opponent will embrace him. There is nothing to fight over if truly making Ekiti or Nigeria great is the main reason why we are

At the meeting, PDP State Chairman , Barr. Gboyega Oguntuase, Hon Samuel Omotoso and Bola Oluojo, who spoke on behalf of the party, promised to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Electoral Act for Ekiti election to be a success.

Meanwhile, the APC publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun and Hon Kayode Babade promised that members shall be peaceful and abide by the extant rules guiding the conduct of elections to prevent violence in
the state.


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