Nigeria: INEC Threatens to Halt Edo, Ondo Polls If There Is Violence

Nigeria: INEC Threatens to Halt Edo, Ondo Polls If There Is Violence

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it will suspend the Edo and Ondo governorship election process if the actions of political actors led to a breakdown of law and order.

Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, announced this on Thursday in Abuja after a meeting where stakeholders deliberated on a number of issues, including preparations for the elections.

Okoye said that the commission had observed with deep concern, the escalating levels of violent actions and incendiary statements by political parties, candidates and their supporters, in the run-up to the elections.

“These actions include destruction of opponents’ campaign materials such as billboards, violent campaigns and use of offensive language.

“It is important for political parties, candidates and their supporters to keep in mind that there are extant laws and regulations that must be adhered to, during campaigns.

“The commission will not shirk its responsibility to enforce the rules of the game.

“Consequently, parties and candidates must, on no account, underestimate the resolve of the commission to enforce the rules and regulations and apply appropriate sanctions against those who choose to break them.

“The commission remains determined to conduct peaceful elections in the two states and in the outstanding National and State Assembly bye-elections.”