The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties, candidates and their supporters not to complicate the prevailing security situation in the country.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the warning at the “Training of Master Trainers on Election Technology for The 2023 General Elections” orgaised by the Commission on Tuesday in Abuja.
He decried the recent reports of clashes among parties’ supporters and attacks on election rallies in some States, describing the incidents as “worrisome”.
“Even as the Commission is working hard to ensure a credible process in the forthcoming elections, reports of clashes among parties and their supporters in some States of the country during the ongoing electioneering campaign is worrisome.
“So too is the reported denial of access to public facilities for parties and candidates in some States of the Federation.
“Let me caution parties and their supporters to focus on issues and steer clear of attacks on each other.
“These are not only violations of the Electoral Act 2022 but also negate the voluntary commitment by all political parties and candidates to the letter and spirit of the Peace Accord signed about three weeks ago under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC).
“Parties, candidates and their supporters should not, by acts of commission or omission, further complicate the prevailing security situation in the country.”
According yo the INEC boss, a peaceful electioneering campaign is critical to the conduct of peaceful and credible elections.
He said INEC would continue to monitor the situation closely and would convene a meeting with leaders of political parties next week to discuss, among other issues, the imperative of peaceful campaigns and equal access to public facilities.
“In the same vein, the Commission will also meet with security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week,” Yakubu said.
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