2023 Election: INEC Warns Against Abusive Language As Parties Plan For Campaign

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele
2023 Election: INEC Warns Against Abusive Language As Parties Plan For Campaign

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC recently warned that a political message or slogan must not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal, or sectional feelings as parties plan for the campaign for the 2023 general election.

The independent body also said abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reactions or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.

Meanwhile, Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman, gave the warnings at a two-day capacity-building workshop for INEC Press Corp Members on critical issues in the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Commission’s Processes, Innovations, Preparations for the 2023 General Election in Abuja on Monday.

Yakubu, represented by Festus Okoye, national commissioner in charge of voter education and publicity, reminded the media of their constitutional and legal obligations, saying state apparatus including the media shall not be employed to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate at any election.

“In other words, equal coverage and visibility shall be allotted to all political parties by all public print and electronic media organizations. The same applies in equal measure to privately owned media organizations subject to payment of appropriate fees,” he said.

The INEC chairman urged all the 18 registered political parties to critically study and pay attention to the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, the Police Act, and the Public Order Act for the proper and peaceful conduct of political campaigns, rallies, and processions.

While assuring Nigerians that the commission will deploy and continue to deploy appropriate technology for the conduct of elections, he reiterated that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and INEC Result Viewing Portal will be deployed for the conduct of the 2023 general election.

“We will continue to use technology to improve and enhance the credibility of elections in Nigeria. Our goal is electoral justice where every Nigerian will experience electoral fulfillment.

“As I have pointed out, the commission has entered the critical phase in the electoral process. As of today, the commission has undertaken eight out of the 14 items on the Calendar and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

“On 20th September 2022, the commission released the final list of candidates standing nominated for national elections (presidential and vice-presidential candidates, senatorial and House of Representatives candidates).

“On 4th October 2022, the commission will release the final list of candidates standing nominated in relation to state elections (governorship, deputy governorship and state assemblies).

“On 28th September 2022 Presidential and National Assembly campaigns will start while that of Governorship and State Assembly candidates will start on 12th October 2022. The Commission will continue to adhere to set timelines in carrying out its activities,” Yakubu said.

According to the chairman, the cleaning up of the voter register using the Automated Biometric Identification System is almost finalized and INEC will engage with stakeholders relating to its findings before displaying the register for claims and objections as required by law.

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