The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday warned politicians against overheating the polity ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Its Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega gave the warning in Abuja at the third quarterly meeting of the commission and political parties.
Jega advised them to stabilise the polity rather than overheating it and urged them to have ”enlightened self interest”.
He also warned them against breeding and using thugs during campaigns and elections, adding that they should promote peaceful conduct and civility in political engagements.
“In recent bye-elections, we saw disruptions of the electoral process caused by thuggery, which is not a good idea.
“The trend in recent local governments elections in Imo, Kano and Jigawa are very dangerous and this must stop in order not to undermine the aspiration for credible election by 2015.’’
Jega also warned political parties against presenting candidates in states where they did not exist.
He said the commission had received series of petitions on the issue.
“A particular example is the recent state constituency election in Sokoto where political parties that are virtually non-existent in the state rushed to present candidates for the bye-election.’’
The INEC chairman, therefore, urged political parties to support the democratic growth and restrict their quest for elective offices to areas they have institutional presence.
He also warned stakeholders, including politicians and political parties, against embarking on early campaigns toward the 2015 general elections or face the law.
He said that such early campaigns were unhealthy and could posed a threat to the growth of the country’s democracy
“You all must be mindful of the provision of Section 99, sub-section 1 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which limits campaign periods to commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours to polling day,’’ he said.
Jega urged the newly registered political parties to provide the commission with list of its interim executive committees at both the state and local government levels.
The meeting was attended by the officials of 20 political parties, including the PDP, PDM, APGA, Accord Party, Action Alliance and Social Democratic Party. (NAN)