Less than one week to the end of campaigns for the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has revealed that it is compiling the names of candidates and political parties engaged in verbal attacks during the campaigns.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Committee on Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday, described the situation as worrisome, noting that the National Peace Committee headed by former Head of State, Abdusalami Abubakar, and some civil society organisations were also monitoring the violations.
Okoye stressed that the use of abusive language by some political parties, candidates, officials and supporters during the campaigns was in contravention of Section 92 of the Electoral Act. He noted that the commission would not hesitate to prosecute those found guilty after investigation and arrest by the appropriate security agencies.
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At the commencement of campaigns, INEC had referred political parties and candidates to the provisions of Section 92 of the Act.
Specifically, subsections 1 and 2 read, “A political campaign or slogan shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings; (2) abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or insinuations or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.”
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