Do Not Misinterpret Buhari’s Speech, Ajulo Tells Candidates

Kayode Ajulo, Ph.D

…Presidential Campaigns commence in September, 2022 not June, 2022

A renowned constitutional lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, has urged presidential candidates of various political parties to not misinterpret President Muhammadu Buhari democracy day speech. He said the Electoral Act 2022 and Guidelines & Regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, does not support commencement of campaign rallies at this period.

President Muhammadu Buhari, has on June 12, Democracy Day, in the paragraph 13 of his speech said candidates of political parties should “continue running issue focused campaigns and to treat opponents with dignity”. Ajulo said this statement does not stipulate that candidates should begin proper electioneering campaigns at the moment, saying it is against electoral law.

He noted, “For avoidance of doubt campaign for presidential and national assembly elections will commence on September 2022 while that of governorship and State House of Assembly will commence on October 12, 2022”

“It is imperative to remind this presidential candidates at this period. Though, the primaries came earlier than expected but it does not change the law as enshrined in electrical guidelines. INEC electoral guidelines as backed by the Nigeria constitution clearly state that statutory period to commence campaigns is 90 days to the general elections and ends twenty-four hours (24hrs) before the opening of Poll or Polling day in accordance with the law”

“Presidential candidates of political parties cannot begin political campaigns at this period as it’s against the INEC rule and could be used against whoever that violates this rule.” Ajulo said.

The legal practitioner also said the change in political timetables cannot be used as an excuse to violate the constitution.

“Irrespective of the change in the timetable, it does authorise anyone still living and operating with the ambit of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to violate the law.

“People have been going about electioneering on social media but it does not change anything within constitution, which had been drafted with respect to the reality of that period in time. Therefore, the speech as delivered by President Muhammadu Buhari was clear in its context. Ajulo said.


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