The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will, next week, meet with leaders of political parties to brainstorm on how to steer their campaigns away from violence and breakdown of law and order.
The commission, which expressed worry over the recent clashes among party supporters in some states, cautioned politicians against complicating the prevailing security situation in the country.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this in his remarks at the training of Master Trainers on Election Technology for 2023 General Election in Abuja, urged the parties to focus on issues and steer clear of attacks on one another.
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He said: “Even as the commission is working hard to ensure a credible process in the forthcoming elections, reports of clashes among parties and their supporters in some states of the country during the ongoing electioneering campaign is worrisome. So too is the reported denial of access to public facilities for parties and candidates in some states of the federation.
“Let me caution parties and their supporters to focus on issues and steer clear of attacks on one another. These are not only violations of the Electoral Act 2022 but also negate the voluntary commitment by all political parties and candidates to the letter and spirit of the Peace Accord signed about three weeks ago under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC).
“Parties, candidates and their supporters should not, by acts of commission or omission, further complicate the prevailing security situation in the country. A peaceful electioneering campaign is critical to the conduct of peaceful and credible elections.
“The commission will continue to monitor the situation closely and will convene a meeting with leaders of political parties next week to discuss, among other issues, the imperative of peaceful campaigns and equal access to public facilities.
“In the same vein, the commission will also meet with the security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week.”
On what technology INEC will deploy for the 2023 general election, Yakubu said: “Over the last two years, the commission has increased the deployment of technology in the elections in Nigeria. Systems and portals have been designed and developed to cater for different electoral activities ranging from voter registration and accreditation, result transmission from the polling units, the nomination of candidates by political parties to the accreditation of polling agents, observers and journalists for elections.
“Of these innovations, most Nigerians are more familiar with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which doubles as a device for accreditation as well as the upload of the Polling Unit level result sheets to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time on election day.
“These innovations have increased transparency and public confidence in the electoral process. They are also part of the legal requirements for conducting elections in Nigeria. The combination of the BVAS and the IReV portal has come to stay as a means of voter accreditation and transmission of election results.”
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