Ebonyi Govt Says No Political Party Is Exempted From Ban On Rallies

The Ebonyi State government has reiterated that the order banning political rallies from holding in public schools in the state, includes all political parties.

Naija News reports that the state government has cleared the air that the ban which took effect on November 1 does not exempt the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The confirmation follows reactions from some political stakeholders speculating if the ban would also affect the APC.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Uchenna Orji, has come out today to dismiss such speculation at Abakaliki, the state capital.

Orji, while addressing pressmen reiterated that the provision affects all political parties because the order is to protect students and staff of such public schools.

He continued saying “The apprehensions should be allayed because even in civilised societies, there are conditions attached to political parties holding rallies in public facilities.

“We should correct the earlier insinuations that the order banned political parties from ever holding rallies in these facilities.

“All political parties, including the ruling APC, must secure approval from relevant authorities to use the schools and other public facilities,’’ the commissioner submitted.

Orji maintained that personal interests cannot override the safety of the lives and properties of the Ebonyi people, which is important to the government.

He added that “Holding political rallies in schools ordinarily puts the security of pupils and students at risk because they are vulnerable.

“Since parents are not with the pupils and students while in school, anything can happen.

“We have security reports that gunmen may attack schools during campaigns, so the order was a proactive step to forestall such incidents,’’ he said.

Orji also reiterated that the N5 million required of political parties to campaign on school premises was refundable as the overall interest was to protect the people.

“People also pay to use the stadium for various activities, so the provisions of the order are not new.

“The media should assist the government in propagating the ideals of the order as insecurity is a menace affecting everyone,’’ the commissioner stressed.

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