Wike bans use of residential areas as campaign offices

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has signed Executive Order RVSG – 22 banning the use of buildings and structures in residential areas in urban and non-urban areas as campaign offices by political parties.

A p statement issued in Port Harcourt on Tuesday by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Alagbo Chris Finebone, explained that the Executive Order also bans the posting of bills or posters or any other material in unauthorised places.

Finebone noted that while signing the Order, the governor frowned against the constant defacement of expensive public properties particularly in Port Harcourt through posting of handbills, banners, posters and all sorts of unauthorized materials.

According to the Executive Order 22, “any political party or association or body of persons however called or described that wishes to use any premises, building or structure situate in a residential area in any urban area of Rivers State as campaign office must obtain permission from the Rivers State Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning.”

Finebone stated that the Executive Order will come into effect on Friday as a legal instrument that forces political parties to fulfill certain conditions before embarking on campaign in various parts of the state.

Governor Wike had earlier banned political parties from using public schools for political campaigns without the approval of the state Ministry of Education, stressing that the ministry must be notified at least two weeks before the date of any campaign in a school.

The governor stated that “Applicants will also deposit the sum of five million caution fees in case attendees destroy the facilities in the schools”, adding that a local council chairman has the right to stop any rally if approval is not sought.

He, therefore, warned that the state government will not allow political parties and their supporters to disturb the peace in the state, as the campaigns begin.

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