The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) weekend warned politicians breaching electoral law of campaign to stop it forthwith, asking security personnel to arrest violators who engage in subtle campaigns.
The electoral laws stipulate kick off of campaigns at least 90 days before any election, but major cities are now awash with posters of potential aspirants to various political offices.
INEC has, however, observed that some politicians and registered political parties have begun unbridled campaigns towards the forthcoming general elections thereby heating up the polity.
Spokesman for INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, while sounding out the warning to political parties said that the commission had observed that “campaign posters are being indiscriminately displayed, while electioneering broadcasts are being aired outside the statutory provision for campaigning towards elections into various elective offices”.
According to him, “This trend is unhealthy and portends ill for the political process. Indeed, it is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy”.
The commission referred politicians and political parties to the provision of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), which states: “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”
INEC advised politicians to note that campaigning outside this provision is a violation of the law, saying, “The commission will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against culprits as provided by relevant sections of the law”.
INEC then asked security agents to apprehend violators, whose activities in this regard pose a threat to public order and enjoins “all parties to play strictly by the rules, as part of a collective effort to ensure the success of the 2015 elections”.