The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned politicians and political parties against campaigning before the designated time for the 2023 elections.
According to the current electoral act, campaigning in public by every political party should commence 90 days before the election and end 24 hours before votes are cast.
Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner, information and voter education, spoke on Monday during a capacity building workshop for heads of voter education and publicity and public affairs officers of the commission.
“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,” he said.
“As at now, we are still operating within the existing electoral framework that makes it mandatory for political parties to only begin campaigns 90 days to election.
“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.”
On the possibility of the 2023 elections being affected by insecurity in some states, Okoye said INEC is working with all the relevant security agencies to make sure that no community is disenfranchised.
“The chairman of the commission and the commission 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 rollback procedure,” he said.
“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 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.
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