- Nigeria's electoral body, INEC, has issued a strong warning to all the parties ahead of the next general elections in 2023
- INEC in a statement released on Monday, April 19, said the results of violent congresses will be rejected should the trend continue
- The electoral body's statement comes after the PDP's congress turned violent in some geopolitical zones
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to blacklist political parties unable to conduct peaceful congresses and primaries from receiving electoral materials for their future activities.
The electoral body in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, and seen by Legit.ng on Monday, April 19, said there will be far-reaching consequences for political parties that fail to conduct peaceful congresses.
Political parties will also be made to pay for the electoral materials damaged during their congresses, INEC warned.
It added that it might not acknowledge the result of violent congresses if the trend continues.
The statement partly read:
“This Commission will not stand askance and watch party conventions and congresses degenerate into farcical rituals and violent fiascos that threaten lives and destroy property.
“For the avoidance of doubt, INEC will henceforth reconsider its involvement in these events, should they continue to put lives of members of the public and staff of the Commission at risk.
“Henceforth, there will be far-reaching consequences in any situation where party congresses and conventions degenerate into violence and destruction of INEC property. Apart from replacing such destroyed materials, parties may be blacklisted from the receipt of INEC materials for their activities in the future.
“The Commission may also withdraw its staff from monitoring such violent political party meetings, with the resultant non-recognition of their outcomes.”
Legit.ng notes that INEC's statement follows the recent congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the southwest and northwest geopolitical zones which were marred with violence, thuggery and shootings.
Meanwhile, INEC has also made a crucial clarification concerning the forthcoming voter registration exercise.
During his press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, April 1, INEC's chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, explained that the National Identification Number (NIN) enrollment is not needed for the exercise.
Yakubu noted that according to the electoral act, the NIN is only one of the many means of identification for registration.