The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Kayode Idowu, has cautioned politicians against early campaign to avoid overheating the polity. Idowu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos. He said INEC had issued timetable which clearly indicated the timeline for commencing campaign by political parties and candidates in the country.
According to him, the commission has repeatedly warned political players to always abide by the provision of the Electoral Act to ensure sanity in the political process.
“We have issued a timetable to indicate the timeline for campaign. INEC has also repeatedly warned politicians on the need to play politics by the rule,” he said.
He said though INEC was not a law enforcement or security agency, it was however in a position to ask law enforcement agencies to help in enforcing laws on electioneering campaign. Idowu reiterated the determination of the commission to provide level playing ground to all political parties to ensure justice and fair play, with a view to enhancing citizens’ confidence in its activities.
He tasked the media to be factual and objective in their reportage, adding that the use of the media to perpetrate partisan manipulation could affect the success of the INEC.
Idowu, who said that INEC was making efforts to improve its activities, urged the media to join the commission for the realisation of free, fair and credible elections in the country.
“If politicians succeed in getting the whole of the media to report a perception over and over, then of course, it is going to rub up on the image of the political process.
“So there is the need for the media to have the capacity to independently interrogate the political process and be able to report on the basis of the interrogation,” he said.