The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has warned political parties to desist from engaging in premature campaigns ahead of 2022 governorship elections and 2023 general elections.
It explained that the warning had become imperative to ensure guidelines set by the electoral body were not flouted and to avoid unnecessary heating up of polity ahead of the exercises.
Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Adeniran Tella, said that plans have been concluded to sanction parties or politicians that engaged in premature electioneering campaigns or other related activities preterm.
The commissioner who gave the warning on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti at a stakeholders’ meeting with political leaders, youths, women, and religious groups, noted that the voters would not condone any act of indiscipline from political parties ahead of coming polls across Nigeria.
He clarified that the meeting was convened to address issues bothering on expanding voters’ access to polling units, as it affected Ekiti state, adding that more avenues are being explored to ensure peaceful and credible polls during the coming election cycle.
“The commission is challenging you to play this game by the rules. The Electoral Act, 2010, Section 9991, as amended, frowns at organising election campaigns ahead of the stipulated time.
“For the avoidance of doubt, that section of the law states that the period of campaigns in public by any political party shall commence 90 days before the voting day and end 24 hours before the day,” Tella said.
According to him, the continuous voter registration exercise will commence in the state on June 28 and only those who had attained the age of 18 are expected to participate in the registration.
Others, he said, were those who, for one reason or the other, could not participate in the previous exercise, but who were already of age and wanting to transfer their voting right from one place to the other.