*Threatens to sanction violators
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to wield the big stick on the political class should it violates its policy on early campaigns.
It insisted that the provisions of the law and the electoral act must be respected in all cases including the time table for electoral activities.
It warned political parties and their aspirants into various elective offices in 2023 to desist from the ongoing early campaign, noting that the commission has not approved the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 elections.
INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the warning at the weekend, while briefing the media on the reviewed time table and schedule of activities ahead of the 2023 general elections, urged political parties and aspirants to strictly adhere to the timeframe for commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections which he noted commences 150 days to the polling day and ends 24 hours before the election day.
“Let me use this opportunity to draw the attention of parties and candidates that the law makes a specific definite provisions for the commencement of campaigns and end of campaigns and all Nigerians are required to adhere with the provisions of the law including political parties and candidates,” he said.
The INEC boss, who stated that the reviewed time lines for the 2023 elections came as a result of the newly signed Electoral Act 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari, stated that political parties may stand the risk of losing their nominated candidates, if they operates outside the timelines set by the commission especially with regards to the nomination of primaries would not be expected to nominate a candidate to the commission.
“So we expect all political parties to comply. Any political party that fails to comply with the timelines provided for in the time table and schedule of activities particularly with respect to the conduct of party primaries for the nomination candidates will not expected to nominate a candidate to the commission,” he said.
According to the timetable and schedule of activities for next year’s general election, the presidential and the National Assembly elections will hold February 25, 2022 while the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will follow two weeks later on March 11, 2022.
INEC schedule of activities and timetable prescribes that the campaigns for presidential and National Assembly elections would commence on 28 September 2022 while that of the governorship and State Houses of Assembly would commence October 12, 2022.
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