From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
Acting on orders from its national headquarters, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Nasarawa state, has directed politicians to remove all campaign bill boards in respect of the 2015 general election.
State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Ahmed Makama, gave the directive yesterday while delivering a speech during a stakeholder’s forum in Lafia.
He said the Commission had observed with dismay that politicians were flouting the electoral law which stipulated that campaign should not commence until 90 days before the election, stressing that the unwholesome attitude by politicians was against the rule of the game and should be discontinued.
“At the moment, the streets across the entire state are already strewn with billboards of political gladiators seeking elective positions in 2015,” Makama said.
“Rather than campaign now, politicians should be consulting privately with their constituents ahead of the 90 days allowed prior to election, “ Makama added.
The REC also disclosed that the Commission would soon commence the issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the state, adding that the exercise would take place across all the 1, 495 polling units in the state.
According to him, voters would be required to present their temporary voters’ cards in exchange for the PVC, adding that there would be no collection by proxy as all voters must be physically present while in the case of loss of the temporary card, the voter would need to present an affidavit as well as fill a form with a passport photograph attached.
Makama also said the Commission would soon embark on continuous voters’ registration for those who had turned 18 years after the last voters registration exercise, pointing out that the continuous voter registration would be done at the wards rather than the polling units and charged political parties to educate their members appropriately.
In a remark, the state Commissioner of Police, Idris Ibrahim charged the political parties to comply with the electoral laws and pull down all campaign billboards and posters immediately.
“ The Police would henceforth, arrest and prosecute anyone found erecting billboards with regards to the 2015 general election in violation of the electoral law,” Ibrahim threatened.
He urged politicians to play be the rule in order not to further aggravate the security challenges facing the country.