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Ban on campaigns in Ebonyi schools does not exempt APC – Commissioner




THE Ebonyi State government has said that the ban on political campaigns in Ebonyi schools does not exclude the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party.

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Uchenna Orji, said the ban, which took effect on November 1, did not exempt any political party.

The ban raised intense reactions from the public, with some political stakeholders wondering if the APC would be affected by its provisions.

Orji spoke to journalists on Saturday at Abakaliki, the state capital.

While trying to reduce the apprehension that the directive generated, the commissioner said all political parties were bound by the order’s provisions,  which he explained were designed to protect pupils, students and staff of the schools.

“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.

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“All political parties, including the ruling APC, must secure approval from relevant authorities to use the schools and other public facilities,” he said.

He added that the security of lives and property of the people was paramount to the government and should be above all personal interests.

“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.

He pleaded with the media to assist the government in propagating the ideals of the order, as insecurity is affecting everyone in the state.

The Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, had banned political parties from using schools and market areas for political campaigns in the state.

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According to Umahi, the political party members always defecate and litter these areas.

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