Amid rising cases of Covid-19 cases in the country, the
independent National Electricity Commission INEC sets criteria that must be met
by political parties before holding public rallies for Edo and Ondo state
commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman (Information and Voter
Education Committee), Festus Okoye, in an interview with journalists in Abuja,
said before holding any rally, political parties must give INEC a seven-day
criteria, it was gathered, were aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 at the
said INEC had informed political parties that their guidelines for campaigns
must conform with the NCDC protocols, including social distancing and use of
against crowded rallies, the INEC commissioner said, “Political parties are
encouraged to develop appropriate guidelines for the conduct of rallies and
campaigns taking into consideration all the guidelines and protocols developed
by health authorities at the national and state levels.
there are conflicts between political parties’ guidelines on the conduct of
rallies and campaigns and those issued by the commission, the commission shall
draw the attention of the political parties to the discrepancies.”
recalled that the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had on June 9 issued
supplementary regulations and guidelines for rallies and campaigns by parties,
aspirants, candidates and their supporters in line with the commission’s policy
on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
stated, “It is mandatory for political parties intending to hold rallies and
campaigns to notify the commission, through the electoral officer at the local
government-level or the resident electoral commissioner at the state level.
The notification shall be by a notice, transmitted electronically and in hard
copies giving details of the public rallies, meetings, processions or public
gathering not later than seven days to the date of the event.”
to Okoye, campaigns by parties shall be based on their published
manifestos and shall comply with the provisions of regulations issued by the
added that the campaigns should not violate the National Broadcasting
Commission and public health regulations.
INCE commissioner stated, “All the registered political parties are aware of
the global pandemic and how it has affected the way we live and organise and we
expect political parties to factor the health and safety of Nigerians into
their guidelines for campaigns and rallies.
expect political parties to be creative, innovative and dynamic in their
rallies and campaigns. It is the responsibility of political parties to design
campaign strategies in line with the regulations and protocols issued by
therefore expect candidates and political parties to utilise the conventional
media, the social media and other creative means of information dissemination
in their campaigns and rallies.
parties should, therefore, find a balance between the orthodox means of rallies
and campaigns and the new realities of face masks, social and physical
distancing and handwashing and hand sanitizers.”
disclosed that the PTF had nominated one of its senior official who would
be part of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security chaired
by the INEC chairman and the National Security Advisers
stated, “The nominated officer will sit in an advisory capacity and advise the agency on health-related matters.”