All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi has berated Governor David Umahi for placing a ban on political campaigns and rallies in schools, markets and parks in the state.
Governor Umahi had announced a ban on the holding of political rallies in public schools and some public places in the state with effect from November 1.
“Let me make it clear that from November 1, before any political rally can be held in primary and secondary schools, political parties must get approval from the Ministry of Education,” he said.
The senatorial candidate of the APGA, Chief Ifeanyi Eleje, referred to the ban as “undemocratic and ridiculous.”
Eleje speaking during an interview on Saturday alleged the move was geared towards gagging opposition politicians in the state.
He said, “I don’t think this is in sync with democracy. I don’t think it deepens the space. Politicians need to have an arena whereby they can communicate their ideas and visions to the electorates. It can not be done totally via social media. There needs to be a physical contact between those seeking elective offices and the people who will elect them.
“You need to feel the pulse of the people and they need to read you when you are speaking to them. And this can only be achieved where you have a level-playing field and freedom of expression. All candidates may not have the privilege of using the public media like the governor. This is not good for our burgeoning democracy. It’s not a fair policy and it’s not equitable.
“Where would you stop? When you say don’t use girls’ schools, we can go to boys’ schools. But when you say don’t use schools, what about private schools? What if a private school offers me their space for use? Why should I pay N5m to the government? Is the government the owner of private schools? What about public or village arenas? Like in Afikpo here, we have the Ogo. How is that defined?”