By Miftaudeen Raji
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has warned political parties and candidates against the use of masqueraders, public facilities and religious centres for campaigns.
The commission asked political parties to comply strictly with the provisions of the Electoral Act to avoid sanctions as stipulated by the Act.
According to the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Committee on Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, the law expected political campaigns to be civil and devoid of abuse with respect to the Section 92 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Recall that INEC had fixed September 28 for the commencement of campaigns for the presidential and National Assembly, while the elections would hold on February 25, 2023.
Meanwhile, reactions have continued to greet the INEC injunction.
@NathalionO wrote, “It is amazingly worrisome to see how Nigerians are not willing to learn from their 2015 mistake and see the hope before them to make amends.
All this made up rules for Obi. If Obi doesn’t win this election, that man will never contest for this position again, our regrets continue.”
@IFEANYICHUKWU32 wrote, “If this statement is from INEC, it shows how disorganized they are. Someone is contesting without a certificate and nothing was said about it but they are about to arrest who campaigns inside the church. I don’t trust inec can conduct a free and fair election.”
@jamesekele113 tweeted, “INEC is just trying to cause religious violence, cos everyone knows that the instructions are for just one set of people. If you know you know. So make inec rest if Peter Obi has no campaign for church we go help am do am so make una rest.”
“I want to be clear, so politicians should not worship God again?And if they do,those that love them should not shout?Are they mad & running out of ideas because of the uncontrollable massive ❤Obi gets from Obidients who are all over the place? I beg they’ve NO case here,” @FAVOURP tweeted.
@download204 wrote, “The whole matter is done for Nigeria, but the poor and rich are wiser, in my own option Nigeria don’t need election anymore because it’s recycling of the same old criminals coming back again with the same face and a different party name.
Previous electioneering in Nigeria have witnessed situations where political parties and their candidates engage in all kinds of theatrics, including the use of masqueraders, to entertain the crowd during political rallies.
Nigerian politicians are fond of covertly campaigning in public offices and worship centres, especially churches and mosques, to woo civil servants and worshippers, respectively.