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INEC summons parties over electoral act violation, attacks on opponents

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will convene a meeting with leaders of political parties next week over the spate of violence…

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will convene a meeting with leaders of political parties next week over the spate of violence heralding campaigns for the 2023 general elections.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, raised the alarm on Tuesday in Abuja at the training of master trainers on election technology for the 2023 general elections.

According to him, the clashes between opposing parties and their supporters during the ongoing campaigns across the country are worrisome.

Yakubu’s alarm is coming barely three weeks after the signing of the peace accord by political parties and their presidential candidates, championed by the National Peace Committee (NPC).

Daily Trust reports that there have been recorded clashes between members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and Labour Party (LP) in some states.

“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 are 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 NPC,” Yakubu said.

He also warned that 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 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,” he said.

The INEC boss said the training of the train-the-trainers workshop on election technology is one of the most important training activities ahead of the 2023 elections.

In his opening remarks, the chairman of the board of TEI, Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, noted that the special training and retraining of all categories of electoral personnel for the delivery of effective and efficient electoral services at all levels is a standing principle of the commission.

Also, the Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES/Nigeria), Seray Jah, noted that the training is significant as it presents a huge opportunity for INEC to enhance the transparency and credibility of elections through the deployment of technology on a large scale for the conduct of the 2023 general elections, using the Electoral Act 2022. 

 

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