The Independent National Electoral Commission has raised concerns over the rising spate of violent clashes among political parties and their supporters at campaign rallies in some states.
The commission also indicated that it will convene an emergency security meeting to address the development and mitigate the situation.
Chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, raised the concerns in Abuja at the training of Master Trainers on Election Technology for the 2023 general elections.
“Even as the commission is working hard to ensure a credible process in the forthcoming elections, reports of clashes among parties and their supporters in some states of the country during the ongoing electioneering campaign is worrisome. So too is the reported denial of access to public facilities for parties and candidates in some states of the federation,” he stated.
“Let me caution parties and their supporters to focus on issues and steer clear of attacks on each other. These are not only violations of the Electoral Act 2022 but also negate the voluntary commitment by all political parties and candidates to the letter and spirit of the Peace Accord signed about three weeks ago under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC).
“Parties, candidates and their supporters should not by acts of commission or omission further complicate the prevailing security situation in the country. A peaceful electioneering campaign is critical to the conduct of peaceful and credible elections,” he appealed.
On the plans in place to arrest the development, the electoral umpire chairman said that; “the commission will continue to monitor the situation closely and will convene a meeting with leaders of political parties next week to discuss, among the other issues, the imperative of peaceful campaigns and equal access to public facilities.
“In the same vein, the commission will also meet with the security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week,” he disclosed.
Speaking further, Yakubu warned that there is no going back on the deployment of technology in the forthcoming general elections next year.