Ahead of the Edo and Ondo States gubernatorial elections, the Federal government on Monday released guidelines for the conduct of electoral campaigns.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the guidelines while giving an update on COVID-19.
He advised politicians to use media channels such as radio, television, and social media to campaign for votes as contained in the newly published guidelines for elections.
Ihekweazu said the use of these channels rather than the previous methods of canvassing for votes which involves mass gathering will help check spread of COVID-19 infections.
He also called for careful adherence to mass gathering guidelines.
“We urge our politicians to take responsibility and lead by example. We ask you to please think of the lives of the electorate first. Your electorate staying alive is much more important than any vote you can win,” Ihekweazu said.
He said the guideline was to protect Nigerians who would go to vote.
“The virus thrives in mass gathering and there is a challenge that we have in the way we have conducted our elections ore during and post. In this guideline, we try and offer advice on how to do this safely,” he said.
The NCDC DG also informed that over 15,000 health care workers have been trained across the country since the onset of the outbreak, and the process will be ongoing.
On the newly launched online Infection and Prevention (IPC) course, Ihekweazu, while describing the feat as historic, said it will transform how Nigerians, doctors, nurses, and patients relate to IPC.
He also said the NCDC now has a new unit that focuses on IPC, so as to strengthen “this area that is long forgotten”.