INEC to Nigerian parties: stop the campaigns now

•INEC boss, Professor Attahiru Jega

•INEC boss, Professor Attahiru Jega

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against premature campaigns by political parties and politicians, with the 2015 general elections still about 23 months away.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has observed that some politicians and registered political parties have begun unbridled campaign towards the forthcoming General Election, thereby heating up the polity,” Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu wrote in a statement.

“It is observed that campaign posters are being indiscriminately displayed, while electioneering broadcasts are being aired outside the statutory provision for campaigning towards elections into various elective offices. This trend is unhealthy and portends ill for the political process. Indeed, it is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.”

The commission urged security agents to arrest violators of the provision of the Constitution stipulating that public campaigns can only begin three months before an election and must end 24 hours before it.

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The Commission also reminded all players of the provision of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), which states as follows: For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.

“Political parties are advised to note that campaigning outside this provision is a violation of the law, and the Commission will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against culprits as provided by relevant sections of the law,” the statement added.

INEC also called on security agents to arrest violators whose activities in this regard pose a threat to public order, and as well enjoined all parties to play strictly by the rules, as part of a collective effort to ensure the success of the 2015 elections.

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