Why we gave 150 days for campaigns -INEC

why we gave 150 days for campaigning - INEC INEC National Commissioner for Voter Education and Public Enlightenment, Festus Okoye

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has explained the rationale behind the timetable for the 2023 Elections campaigns.

The Commission made the clarification in an appearance by its National Commissioner for Voter Education and Public Enlightenment, Mr Festus Okoye, on the TVC Breakfast.

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Mr Okoye while speaking exclusively to TVC News Breakfast said the decision by the commission to allow an unusually long period between the end of party primaries , campaign and the general election is to ensure that the parties have the opportunity of putting their houses in order.

He added that the 150 day interval between the elections and end of primaries and campaigning is to also allow parties go to the nook and crannies of Nigeria with their ideologies and programmes.

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He disclosed that the commission wants members of the public to vote and make the decision about their choices rationally adding that it is a fundamental part of the reasoning for the decision to have an extended campaign period for the election.

Read Excerpts from his interaction below:

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“It is important for political parties to have sufficient time to go around the country and expose their ideological framework and also the ideologies to the Nigerian public and also members of their various political parties.

It’s also very important for political parties to have sufficient time to get the members of the public understand their logo and other profiles relating to the political party, so that on election day, when people go to vote, they are going to vote from a point of view of knowledge.

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They are going to vote rationally, and they will be in a position to identify the local of their political parties on the ballot to prevent a situation where the Independent National Electoral Commission will keep on recording void ballots and ballots that are not properly placed and ballots that are not properly identified. That is one.

Secondly, it is also very important for political parties and their candidates to have sufficient time to go around the country and then know the challenges and problems of this country so that when they get into power, they will be in a position to carrier programs that are impactful and also carrier programs and policies that address the problems and challenges of the Nigerian people.
So I think that giving them sufficient time to move around, to pound on their principles and found on the ideologies. I’m also telling Nigeria people what they intend to do in government. It’s very important, I think, that the political parties can no longer complain of not having sufficient time to move around the country and to meet the people and media supporters. I’ve also said they have programs and policies to the Nigerian people.

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The major responsibility for conducting political rallies and campaigns resides with the various political parties. The law and our regulations insists that before any political party can conduct rallies or processions or campaigns, that particular political party intends to conduct a campaign or rally in the local government will give our local officer in the local government a ten day notice of his intention to do so.

And they must also provide the value where the rally will take place or where the procession will take place and also the time when business will take place. If a political party intends to do that in a state, it must notify the resident Electoral Commissioner for that particular state of what it intends to do. And then we have monitoring mechanisms. We have a department of election and party monitoring that monitors political campaigns and political rallies.

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As you know, the Independent National Electoral Commission has offices in the several rounds that followed government government areas of Nigeria and also in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory. And so we are going to monitor political rallies we are going to monitor political campaigns to make sure that they abide by the provisions of the Constitution.

They abide by the provisions of the Electoral Act and also our regulations and guidelines relating to political campaigns and political rallies and so we are going to monitor all the social media is a narrator that likely is on government at present.”

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