Campaign for presidential elections kicks off today

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As candidates for the February 16, 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections officially commence campaigns , the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned them against making inflammatory statements.

Today marks the start of full electioneering activities according to INEC’s election timetable and schedule of activities, in line with Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The Electoral Act provides that “the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”

However, the electoral umpire has told the candidates to carry out their campaigns in a responsible manner.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP Sunday, the deputy director, Information and Voter Education, Aliyu M Bello, cautioned candidates and their parties to run campaigns devoid of rancorous, hate and/or inflammatory speeches.

He said, “Political parties are expected to conduct their activities in an organised and peaceful manner.”

According to the electoral body, campaigns for governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will commence on December 1, 2018.

Atiku flags Off Campaign Tomorrow With ‘People’s Policy’ Launch

Meanwhile, former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, will tomorrow flag off his 2019 presidential campaign with the launch his policy document tagged ‘People’s Policy.’

The PDP candidate, according to a statement from his campaign office, will at noon, via Facebook, present the policy document containing his vision for Nigeria and his strategies to achieve it.

“The document will promptly be uploaded on his website () for all Nigerians to access at no cost.

“The decision of Atiku Abubakar to kick-start his presidential campaign with the launch of his policy document is to reiterate his commitment to run an issues-based campaign.

“The intention is to take our policy directly to Nigerians and to register the belief of Atiku Abubakar that it will take the collective efforts of every Nigerian to rebuild the country. That is why we want Nigerians to access the policy directly and, ultimately, take ownership of it.

“Our campaign offers a simple message: united, the people of Nigeria can begin anew, creating a prosperous and secure future and a better life for every Nigerian.

“On the first working day of the campaign, the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar will put forward his plan to get Nigeria working again.

“We have chosen to do this by having the PDP presidential candidate speaking directly to the Nigerian people on Facebook. This medium came about as part of the telecommunications revolution that he helped start as vice president in 1999-2007.”

He further noted that the campaign office would get Atiku to speak online which would enable everyone to download a copy of his policy document at no cost so that every Nigerian would be part of it.

“Our policy document focuses on creating jobs, ensuring security, growing business, developing power and water infrastructure, agriculture and education and how we will empower women.

“Our policies outline the goals and methods for developing and revitalising Nigeria as the foundation of our campaign.

“This policy document is being launched to encourage a dialogue with the people of Nigeria, inviting everyone to join us in helping to get Nigeria working again.

“The PDP presidential candidate looks forward to conducting vital discussions as he travels across the length and breadth of Nigeria, meeting and talking with stakeholders: famers, small business people, workers, students, mothers, and children,” he said.

The Atiku campaign body expressed confidence at emerging victorious in a peaceful, free and fair election.

In same vein, the PDP will hold its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting next week to ratify the composition of its Presidential Campaign Council and streamline its campaign strategy for the presidential polls.

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