The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kwara has issued the guidelines on the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Malam Garba Attahiru, announced this on Monday in Ilorin during a stakeholders meeting.
Attahiru, who was represented by the INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Julius Yagba, said that 14 activities have bernsuccesfully implemented, as INEC published the final list of nominated candidates on Sept. 20, 2022.
He said the next activity in line is the commencement of campaigns by the political parties on Sept. 28.
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He added that the meeting was designed to remind all stakeholders about the responsibilities and expectations during the carnpaigns for various offices.
According to him, the offices of the President and National Assembly campaigns will start on Sept. 28, and the Governorship and State House of Assembly is on Oct.12.
“Relying on Section 92 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the commission expects the political campaigns to be civil, devoid of abusive language and without any rancour.
“Section 92 of the Electoral Act 2022 forbids any political campaign or slogan tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly or one likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.
“Therefore abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or insinuations or innuendoes intended or iikely to provoke violent reactions or emotion should be avoided.
“Parties and candidates are to avoid training or enlisting the services of individuals or groups, e.g. masquerades, for the purpose of adopting physical force or coercion in a manner likely to arouse apprehension during campaigns,” the REC said.
He therefore warned politicians against the use of armed private security organisations during campaigns or election processions.
He also enjoined political parties and their candidates to comply with these provisions as contravening them will attract sanctions.
He said that any political party, aspirant or candidate who contravened Section 92 of the Act would be fined N1 million or 12 months imprisonment.
He however said a political party that contravened the provision of Section 92 would be fined N2 million and N1 million for any subsequent offence.
He said further that any candidate or aspirant who equipped any person or group to display physical force commit an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 or three years imprisonment.
He urged the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to monitor the campaign process as well as ensure efficient and effective deployment of personnel for peaceful electioneering.