The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that campaigns by candidates vying for political position should not take off just yet.
The chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this directive was in line with the timetable given by the agency and the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The commission boss made this known during a workshop for election professionals from the Commonwealth Africa Region.
“Section 99(1) prohibits campaigns by political parties earlier than 90 days before polling day.
“Therefore, going by the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities issued by the Commission, campaign for Presidential and National Assembly elections will commence on Nov. 18.
“Campaign for Governorship and State Assembly elections begins on Dec. 1.
“I call upon political parties and candidates to strictly adhere to these dates,’’ he said.
The chairman said that nomination of candidate was the next agenda for the commission after the conclusion of party primaries.
He reminded political parties that the dates for the submission of lists of candidates (Form CFOO2) and their personal particulars (Forms C1001) for presidential and National Assembly elections are from Oct 10 to Oct.18.
The date for the governorship and State Assembly elections is Oct. 22 and Nov. 2.
“The commission will receive the submission from political parties at Aso Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, from 9.a.m to 4.p.m. daily.
“Although we have communicated these dates to all political parties, let me reiterate that there will be no extension of time.
“Similarly, in making submissions to the commission, the covering letters as well as the list of candidates must be duly signed by the National Chairmen and National Secretaries of political patties in line with the commission’s guidelines.’’
He said that all the countries of the Commonwealth, Africa region, needed to further consolidate on election process so that elections were not merely periodic but also peaceful and credible.
“Bringing election managers together to share experiences and build capacities is a critical step to the consolidation of electoral democracy,” Yakubu said.