The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned political parties against abusive language and acts likely to provoke violence or emotions in their campaigns for the 2023 general election.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this at the opening of a two-day capacity workshop.
Specifically, the workshop, held in Lagos on Monday, September 26, 2022, is for members of INEC Press Corps; particularly on critical issues in the Electoral Act, 2022 in preparations for the 2023 General Election.
Mahmood was represented by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee.
Further, he urged all registered political parties to critically study and pay attention to the provisions of laws; especially for the proper and peaceful conduct of political campaigns, rallies, and processions.
The laws, according to Mahmood, include the Constitution, the Electoral Act, the Police Act, and the Public Order Act.
“A political campaign or slogan shall not be tainted with abusive language; directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.
“Abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns,” Yakubu said.
Regarding activities toward the 2023 general election; Yakubu said that eight out of the 14 items on the INEC calendar and schedule of activities; including the release of the final list of candidates nominated for national election have been implemented.
He said that on October 4, 2022, INEC would release the final list of candidates nominated in relation to state elections.
“On September 28, presidential and National Assembly campaigns will start, while that of governorship and State Assembly candidates will start on October 12.
“The commission will continue to adhere to set timelines in carrying out its activities,” he said.
Yakubu said that INEC has devoted time and energy to the cleaning up of the voter register. He added that this was done using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS).
“This process is almost finalised…The commission will engage with stakeholders relating to its findings before displaying the register for claims and objections as required by law.
“Furthermore, the commission is working out a protocol for seamless collection of Permanent Voters Cards by valid registrants,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yakubu assured that INEC would deploy and continue to deploy appropriate technology for the conduct of elections.
“The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IreV) will be deployed for the conduct of the… election.
“We will continue to use technology to improve and enhance the credibility of elections in Nigeria.
“Our goal is electoral justice where every Nigerian will experience electoral fulfillment,” he said.