The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, has again expressed his concern over ongoing development in the country‚Äôs polity ahead of 2015 elections.
Professor Jega who spoke at the third Quarterly Consultative meeting between INEC and political parties in Abuja, urged politicians to engage in acts that will help promote peaceful conducts and not to overheat the polity.
He also reminded them that the electoral law forbids some of their actions.
‚ÄúAs we inch along towards the 2015 general elections, we have been intensifying effort to ensure full readiness in all fundamental respects. We therefore continue to solicit for your cooperation, partnership and support to ensure that we deliver free, fair and credible elections to Nigerians in 2015.
‚ÄúIn particular, we urge you to do everything possible to sanitize the polity. You must have an enlightened self-interest, because seeping and sustaining our democracy in the best interest of all politicians, as it is for all citizens. We must avoid the temptation to throw away the baby with the bath water. You must stop overheating the polity. You must continue to promote peaceful conduct and civility in political engagements and electioneering.
‚ÄúYou must stop the rising tendency towards thuggery in campaigns and elections. In recent bye-elections we saw disruptions of the electoral process caused by thuggery, this must be stopped in order not to undermine our aspirations for credible and peaceful elections in 2015.
‚ÄúLet me also use this opportunity to draw your attention to the following; political parties are reminded to be mindful of the provisions of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended which limits campaign periods to commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours to polling day. The penalty for breach is provided in Section 99(2) (a) & (b),‚Äù the INEC boss said.
Jega also cautioned political parties against presenting candidates in states where they do not have any presence.