Ondo/Edo Election: INEC Warns Parties Against Abuse of Incumbency

Calls for equal access to public facilities ahead of the governorship elections in the states
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INEC logoOnline Tribune

The Independent National Electoral Commission has sent a strong reminder to political parties and candidates regarding the legal requirements for equal access to public facilities ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States respectively.

The reminder was sent out in a message on Friday by Sam Olumekun, the chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee and National Commissioner of INEC.

Olumekun stated that the commission has noticed a recurring problem in Nigeria's electoral process and the abuse of the power of the incumbent to prevent opposition parties and candidates from using public spaces for campaigning.

Restrictions on public access to places like sports stadiums, limitations on the use of state-owned media, exorbitant advertising expenses, and even the destruction or removal of campaign materials are examples of this misuse. These actions frequently cause violent altercations and disturb the peace in society.

Olumekun addressed these concerns by restating that the Electoral Act 2022's Section 95(2) forbids the use of public funds to favour or penalise any political party or candidate.

Public media outlets are likewise required by Sections 95(3-5) to provide equitable coverage to all parties and candidates. Section 95(6) stipulates that officials and leaders of these media organisations may face sanctions for violating these laws.

Olumekun underlined the significance of following these rules and added that, in order to assure clarity and compliance, INEC has created guidelines for political campaigns, processions, and demonstrations on its website and social media platforms.

The governorship election in Edo is scheduled for September 21, 2024, while the governorship election in Ondo is scheduled for November 16, 2024.

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