Legal Nigeria

Edo/Ondo guber polls: INEC urges security agencies to prevent violent attacks by parties

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday, May 16, challenged security agents to prevent violent attacks or negative mobilization by political parties, candidates, and their supporters during their campaigns for the Edo and Ondo off-cycle governorship elections.

Speaking at the second regular quarterly consultative meeting of the Interagency Consultative Committee on Election Security, Yakubu condemned the use of the power of incumbency to prevent opposition parties and candidates from accessing radio and television stations for the campaign.

He said: “The use of the power of incumbency to deny opposition parties and candidates access to public facilities such as Radio and Television stations, public buildings for campaigns and rallies or even outdoor advertising through the imposition of excessive fees and levies often result in the breach of the peace.

These actions, including the mutual destruction of campaign materials and facilities, violate the provisions of Sections 91 to 97 of the Electoral Act 2022.”

He said the security agencies must ensure the enforcement of the law.

While commending the security agencies for their collaboration in ensuring peaceful elections in the country, Prof. Yakubu appealed to them to work closely with the commission to ensure the success of the governorship election in Edo and Ondo states.

He informed the security agencies that the Continuous Registration Exercise ahead of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections will commence on May 27 in all the wards in the two states.

He said: “We need security protection for the registrants, registration personnel, equipment, observers and journalists that will cover the exercise. The detailed locations of the registration centres have been compiled in a detailed 28-page document included in your folders for this meeting to guide your operational plans to secure the process.”

He said the commission has published the final list of candidates for Edo following the conclusion of party primaries and the end of the period for withdrawal and substitution of candidates as provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.

He added that the campaign in public by political parties commenced on Wednesday 24th April 2024 and will end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024 i.e. 24 hours before the date fixed for the election as provided by law.

Source: The Nation