The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has made public the guidelines that would guide political campaigns ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State and charged politicians to strictly adhere to it.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information, Voter Education and Publicity Committee, who made the disclosure at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, said that political parties must be guided by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Code of Conduct for voters and political parties as well as the policy on the conduct of political events. He, therefore, charged politicians to strictly adhere to it.
The Commission, in the guidelines it issued, warned politicians and political parties to avoid the use of inflammatory words that are capable of breaching public peace or promoting violence.
According to INEC, abusive, slanderous, intemperate or base language or insinuations likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.
Similarly, all political campaigns or slogans shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, tribal, sectional or ethnic feelings.
INEC, therefore, warned that all the political parties must conduct their campaigns with civility and the best tradition of democratic ethos.
The Commission further reminded political parties that places designated for religious worships, public office and police stations shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies or processions.
INEC also noted that Nigeria, like other countries of the world, is still battling with the Covid-19 pandemic, which it described as a ‘global health emergency’ and therefore, made it clear that the necessary Covid-19 protocols must always be observed at the campaign arena.
It, therefore, directed that political parties and their candidates must adhere strictly to the covid-19 protocols as contained in an earlier release by the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 on July 30, 2021.
Finally, the Commission stressed that necessary precautionary measures including observance of hand hygiene; the use of face masks; observing the 2-metre distance and the restriction of any enclosed venues to 50% of its installed capacity are mandatory.