The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has ordered his party, the All Progressives Congress, to pay a fine of N5 million for breaching the provisions of State Order 3 of 2022.
State Executive Order 3 prohibits political parties from using public places such as schools, parks, and markets for political activities without obtaining government permission.
PUNCH earlier reported that the governor had signed an order prohibiting political parties from using critical infrastructure to post posters without state permission and using public facilities for campaigning.
The governor, in a statement justifying the fine, made available to journalists through the Commissioner for Information and Guidance, Uchenna Orji, in Abakaliki on Sunday, said: “Governor Umahi was dismayed by the constant pasting of posters by parties on electric poles, meridians, concrete roads and flyover bridges.
“These parties include the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Labor Party and the All Progressive Grand Alliance.
“When the APC rejected the presidential and governorship campaigns in the state, it littered the infrastructure with posters which encouraged other political parties to follow suit.
“Most of the critical infrastructure has been covered with hoardings in violation of state government laws and the Executive Order on hoarding and hoarding,” the statement said.
The statement added that Umahi decided to use his political party, APC, to set an example as a deterrent to others.
“The party has therefore been fined N5 million for breaching the law and Executive Orders.
“APC must pay the money into the Internally Generated Revenue account of the state and get a receipt.
“The party must publish the payment on all media platforms, including social media, before December 31 or risk defaulting on the Rs 50 crore,” the statement said.
Governor Umahi also ordered the APC to remove all pasted infrastructure posters before December 31.
“The governor has decided to pardon all the other political parties and call for the removal of posters from critical infrastructure before December 31.
“They must immediately desist from vandalizing our facilities or face punishment similar to APC in Ebonyi.
“The governor calls on all political parties not to take this kindness as a sign of weakness.
“The government will seal all secretariats and campaign offices of parties that do not remove the posters or do not stop sticking posters on critical infrastructure,” he warned.