2023: INEC Issues Warning To Political Parties Ahead Of Election Campaigns Tomorrow

By Damilare Adeleye

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given a stern warning to political parties as campaigns for the 2023 presidential election begins tomorrow, Wednesday, 28th September.

The electoral umpire warned political parties to avoid violence during the exercise.

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmud Yakubu, who was represented by a National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, at a workshop in Lagos on Monday, said abusive and slanderous words could provoke violence during the campaigns.

“Abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns. Let me also remind the media of their constitutional and legal obligations,” he said.

The INEC chairman also emphasised this position during a sensitisation forum on political broadcasting in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Towards a fair and responsible broadcast coverage of the 2023 general elections.’

He said that the commission would do everything within its power to ensure that the 2023 general election was free, fair, credible, transparent, inclusive and verifiable.

He said, “Candidates and their supporters, as well as the media have a responsibility to operate within the confines of the law and the provisions of the commission’s regulations and guidelines. Issue-based campaigns are essential for safe electioneering. In turn, this will create the atmosphere for the successful deployment and conduct of all electoral activities.

“Campaigns should be devoid of hate speech, abusive or slanderous language, insinuations or innuendos likely to provoke a violent reaction, physical attacks on supporters of one party or another or the destruction of campaign materials.

“More specifically, section 95 of the Electoral Act defines the responsibilities of political parties and candidates, the media and public institutions. It also provides sanctions for violations.

“For instance, in the course of our numerous interactions with political parties over the years, many of them have complained about the denial of access to public facilities for their meetings or rallies, exorbitant charges for signage and billboards and equal access to the state media.”

The Nigerian Voice understands that 18 political parties with their presidential candidates are vying for the presidential seat come February 2023.

The candidates of each political party include:
1. Imumolen Christopher – Accord Party (AP)
2. Al-Mustapha Hamza – Action Alliance (AA)
3. Sowore Omoyele – African Action Congress (AAC)

4. Kachikwu Dumebi – African Democratic Congress (ADC)

5. Sani Yabagi Yusuf – Action Democratic Party (ADP)

6. Tinubu Bola Ahmed – All Progressives Congress (APC)

7. Umeadi Peter Nnanna – All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)

8. Ojei Princess Chichi – Allied People’s Movement (APM)

9. Nnamdi Charles Osita – Action Peoples Party (APP)

10. Adenuga Sunday Oluwafemi – Boot Party (BP)

11. Obi Peter Gregory – Labour Party (LP)
12. Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso – New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)

13. Osakwe Felix Johnson – National Rescue Movement (NRM)

14. Abubakar Atiku – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

15. Abiola Latifu Kolawole – Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)

16. Adebayo Adewole Ebenezer – Social Democratic Party (SDP)

17. Ado-Ibrahim Abdumalik – Young Progressives Party (YPP)

18. Nwanyanwu Daniel Daberechukwu – Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).