The Coalition of United Political Parties has on Sunday called on member parties to dismiss the directive by the Independent National Electoral Commission and resume campaigns for the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had given the directive during an interactive session with stakeholders in Abuja on Saturday, that political parties are not permitted to resume campaigns despite the postponement of the presidential election.
However, the CUPP, claimed that Yakubu’s position was unconstitutional. According to a statement by its national spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, the nation’s Electoral Act stipulated that shall end 24 hours prior to the day of election.
He contended that the postponement opened new window for campaigns, until midnight on Thursday.
He asked member parties to resume campaigns from Sunday and mobilise voters for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.\
Ugochinyere’s statement read, “In view of the provisions of the Section 99 of the Electoral Act, the over 51 member parties of the Coalition of United Political Parties hereby direct all members to return to the campaigns fields and recommence campaigns and end by midnight of Thursday, February 21, 2019 as required by law.
“Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act provides that public campaigns shall end 24 hours prior to the day of polling. “It is, therefore, wrong to expect that political parties will stop campaigns on February 14 for polls that will open on February 23. “It is unlawful and statutorily wrong to curtail the clear intendment of this section of the Electoral Act which is clear and unambiguous.
“Campaigning until 24 hours prior to the day of polling is a statutory right of parties and cannot be taken away, curtailed or abridged by any executive fiat. “INEC cannot, on its own accord, limit the period of campaigns as it is regulated by law. “Member parties are hereby directed to continue campaigns from today (Sunday) and focus on voter remobilisation and ensure that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is elected and declared winner of the presidential election.”