The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will meet with leaders of political parties to brainstorm on how to steer campaigns away from violence and breakdown of law and order next week.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at the training of master trainers on election technology for 2023 general elections in Abuja, charged the parties to focus on issues and steer clear of attacks on each other.
He expressed worry over recent clashes among party supporters in some States, cautioned politicians complicating the prevailing security situation in the country.
According to him: “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. A peaceful electioneering campaign is critical to the conduct of peaceful and credible elections.
‘The Commission will continue to monitor the situation closely and will convene a meeting with leaders of political parties next week to discuss, among the other issues, the imperative of peaceful campaigns and equal access to public facilities. In the same vein, the Commission will also meet with the security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week”.