INEC Threatens to Sanction Politicians for Early Campaigns
The National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education (IVEC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Festus Okoye, has disclosed that the commission will sanction any politician who engages in direct public political campaign before the designated time approved by the commission.
However, Okoye said political parties are free to do their congresses, conventions and meetings.
“These are normal and consistent with the constitution and the electoral act. People are also free to aspire for political positions, it is their constitutional rights. As at now, we are still operating within the existing electoral framework that makes it mandatory for political parties to only begin elections 90 days to election,” he said.
Speaking in Kano yesterday, during a capacity building workshop for Heads of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) and Public Affairs Officers of the Commission from the 19 northern states and the FCT, Okoye added that “But if the bill before the National Assembly and assented by the President, parties could submit their nominated candidates 180 days to election.
“What is not allowed is campaigning in public, but you can go and hold meetings with like minds,” Okoye added.
On the issue of the possibility of holding elections in states affected by insecurity, the Commissioner assured that INEC is working with all the relevant security agencies to make sure that no community is disenfranchised due to insecurity.
“The chairman of the commission and the commissioners will meet with the heads of the nation’s security agencies and review the security situation in the country and determine further deployment and devolution of the CVR on a roll out, roll back procedure.
“As we move closer to the 2023 general election, all the critical stakeholders and the security agencies must resolve to degrade and or neutralize the security threats across the federation. Our people must be assured that they can vote in a peaceful atmosphere,” he added.
He also charged the participants at the workshop to engage all the stakeholders involved in the election process, especially in creating awareness to the public on the activities of the commission.