The All Progressives Congress has described as fair the N5 million penalty slammed on the state chapter of the party in Ebonyi State by Governor Dave Umahi, over the indiscriminate posting of campaign posters on public facility.
Umahi, who noted that he would use his own political party as scapegoat, said that the action contravened the provisions of the state’s Executive Order 3 of 2022.
The governor stated this in a statement issued in Abakaliki, the state capital, by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Uchenna Orji, on Sunday.
Orji, who claimed the move was an attempt by the state government to set an example, further explained that the ‘Executive Order 3’ prohibits political parties from using public places such as schools, parks, and markets for political activities without obtaining due clearance
Reacting to the development on Monday, the Director of Publicity of the APC, Bala Ibrahim, said that the governor’s action was fair enough.
Ibrahim said he believed that the ultimate aim of the executive order was to restore sanity and ensure that public spaces are free from nuisance.
“It is okay. I think Umahi’s action is fair enough. It represents that popular idiom of ‘charity beginning at home.’ Depending on how you look at it, what is this executive order meant to achieve? You have to look at the intended value of that Executive Order 3. Is it for the better or larger interest of the public? Then so be it.
“But if the opposition thinks it is to disrupt campaign or deprive some political opponents, they equally have the right to go to court and challenge it.
“I think what the governor did was to reduce the nuisance of turning public places with billboards into a littering space,” he said.
Ibrahim noted that Umahi’s message is clear enough, adding that the governor’s decision to punish his own party was enough proof of the extent he is determined to go if such violation continues.
“I think he is only trying to show example by being so benevolent in forgiving and exempting other parties from payment of penalties. That is okay to me.
“It should, however, be seen in the light of a warning, knowing there is a stiffer penalty of N50 million awaiting them if such act repeats itself in the state.
“Everything should be done in the interest of fairness,” he said.