INEC Guber polls: Commission urges parties to concentrate on issues-based campaigns

Dazang said that INEC on its part would be impartial and transparent in all its processes to give all the contestants a level playing ground.

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INEC has advised political parties and candidates participating in the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections to ensure issues-based campaigns.

INEC Deputy Director, Publicity, Mr Nick Dazang, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

Dazang said that INEC on its part would be impartial and transparent in all its processes to give all the contestants a level playing ground.

"We expect the political parties to play by the rules of the game, that is, to restrict their campaigns to issues that concern the citizens of the two states and to do so in a non-violent manner.

"We expect them to eschew violence and not to use a language that will not instigate their followers into violence.

"We also expect the citizens of those two states, on election days particularly, to comport themselves peacefully and cast their votes wisely,’’ Dazang said.

He further appealed to traditional rulers and religious leaders in the states to guide politicians in their campaigns, continue to support INEC’s policies as well as encourage people to participate in the elections.

Dazang, who said that the commission has tremendous respect for traditional rulers, described them as viable platform to reach the people.

"It is only when democracy is participatory that the outcome reflects the will of the people.

"If for example, an election takes place and only few people turn out to vote, at the end of the day, the election will be subversion of the popular will.

"This is because the outcome would not have reflected the will of the majority in that state or that constituency.

"It is always right to try as much as possible to get many people to truly participate in the elections.’’

INEC, he said, had already held meetings with stakeholders such as civil society organisations, political leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders and the media in the states.

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