The Abia State Government has issued a warning to other political parties on the use of public spaces for campaigning almost two days before Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, arrives in Abia State to launch Dr Allex Otti’s governorship campaign.
In a statement issued by Eze Chikamnayo, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the state government said, “It has been brought to the notice of the government that some misguided political parties are now embarking on the willful invasion of school facilities, stadiums, and valuable public premises across the state, all in the name of holding rallies and political campaigns.
“Whereas the Abia State Government, as a staunch promoter of participatory democracy and democratic freedoms, will continue to give necessary support to all citizens to exercise their rights, it must be pointed out that the enjoyment of such constitutional rights must be conducted within the ambits of the law.
“Public utilities, school facilities, stadiums, and valuable public premises are properties of the people of Abia State entrusted to the care of the government. Therefore, no responsible government will stand by and watch as such facilities are willfully vandalised and degraded by sadistic elements with malicious interests disguising as politicians.
“The unscrupulous acts of these lawless individuals and groups jeopardise the efforts of government at all levels to provide succour to our children and citizens for whom those facilities were established.
“In view of the foregoing, henceforth, in addition to notifying the security agencies, the written consent of the Education Secretary of a local government and the Executive Chairman of that local government must be duly sought and obtained before the use of any primary school premises.
“Groups and individuals seeking to use any secondary school should direct their applications and obtain their permits via the secondary education management board and the relevant local government chairman.
“Applicants wishing to use the Aba Stadium and others must give adequate guarantees that they will take responsibility for any damage sustained as a result of their activities before being allowed to use that prestigious monument.
“This directive has become necessary for the protection of our common good and the advancement of decency in our political conduct and takes immediate effect.”
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Abia State, Otti, will inaugurate his governorship campaign on Thursday with a rally billed to take place at Ngwa High School in Aba.
Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Otti, “The rally, which would have in attendance the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, CON, his vice presidential candidate, Sen. Yusuf Datti, and the party’s National Chairman, Barr. Julius Abure, would also feature high-ranking national party officers, dignitaries, and friends of Alex Otti from all walks of life.”