As the campaign for the general elections of 2023 gets underway on Wednesday, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, has issued a riot act to political parties.
At the beginning of a two-day capacity development workshop on the Commission’s processes, preparations for the 2023 general election, and critical issues in the Electoral Act 2022 for INEC Press Corps, held in Lagos on Monday, Yakubu issued a note of caution.
He claimed that individuals must carefully consider and pay respect to the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, the Police Act, and the Public Order Act in order to conduct political campaigns, rallies, and processions lawfully and in a peaceful manner.
In addition, the INEC chief chastised the parties for employing “abusive terms directly or indirectly, which are likely going to damage religious, ethnic, tribal, or sectional sensibilities” in their advertisements and slogans.
When it comes to political campaigns, he advised against using “abusive, intemperate, slanderous, or base words or innuendos planned or likely to create strong reactions or emotions.”
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, served as Yakubu’s representative at the event. He urged the media to fulfill their constitutional duty and hold political parties accountable for adhering to the rules and provisions of the Electoral Act as they pertain to the upcoming elections.
He emphasized that the media plays a crucial part in the election’s overall success and reassured Nigerians that INEC will use technology to provide them a complete experience of electoral fairness.
I want to reassure Nigerians that the Commission will continue to use suitable technology for the conduct of elections, the man said. The 2023 general election will be conducted using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IreV).
“We’ll keep utilizing technology to strengthen and increase the legitimacy of Nigerian elections. Our ultimate goal is electoral justice, where every Nigerian would feel satisfied with their vote, the speaker continued.