The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has urged politicians and political parties to refrain from using worship centres for campaign purposes.
This is coming exactly a month away from September 28 when parties will be allowed to commence campaigns.
The Chairman of INEC’s Committee on Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, cited Section 92 of the Electoral Act and said the law is against every form of abuse. The commission further stated that churches and mosques must not be used to campaign purposes.
But quoting from the provisions of the section, Okoye said, “Section 92 of the Electoral Act makes it mandatory that a political campaign or slogan shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.
“Therefore, abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or insinuations or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.
“Subsection 3 states that places designated for religious worship, police stations and public offices shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies and processions; or to promote, propagate or attack political parties, candidates or their programmes or ideologies.
“Masqueraders shall not be employed or used by any political party, aspirant or candidate during political campaigns or for any other political purpose.”
On the use of thugs as it has been done in years gone by, Okoye said, “A political party, aspirant or candidate shall not keep or use armed private security organisation, vanguard or any other group or individual by whatever name called for the purpose of providing security, assisting or aiding the political party or candidate in whatever manner during campaigns, rallies, processions or elections.”