The Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee, amid rising COVID-19 instances within the nation, on Sunday set standards that have to be met by political events earlier than holding public rallies for the Edo and Ondo states governorship polls.
The fee’s Nationwide Commissioner and Chairman (Info and Voter Schooling Committee), Festus Okoye, mentioned earlier than holding any rally, political events should give INEC a seven-day discover.
The factors, it was gathered, have been aimed toward stopping the unfold of COVID-19 on the rallies.
Whereas condemning a live performance held by a hip-hop artiste, Azeez Fashola, alias Naira Marle on the Jabi Lake Mall, Abuja on June 13, the Presidential Activity Drive on COVID-19 on June 15 warned Nigerians to keep away from rallies of any class.
The Nigeria Centre for Illness Management Director-Basic, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, mentioned such gatherings may result in an extra spike in COVID-19 instances.
Okoye informed The PUNCH that INEC had knowledgeable political events that their pointers for campaigns should conform to the NCDC protocols, together with social distancing and use of face masks.
Warning towards crowded rallies, the INEC commissioner mentioned, “Political events are inspired to develop applicable pointers for the conduct of rallies and campaigns making an allowance for all the rules and protocols developed by well being authorities on the nationwide and state ranges.
“The place there are conflicts between political events’ pointers on the conduct of rallies and campaigns and people issued by the fee, the fee shall draw the eye of the political events to the discrepancies.”
He recalled that the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had on June 9 issued supplementary rules and pointers for rallies and campaigns by events, aspirants, candidates and their supporters consistent with the fee’s coverage on conducting elections within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okoye acknowledged, “It’s obligatory for political events intending to carry rallies and campaigns to inform the fee, by way of the electoral officer on the native authorities degree or the resident electoral commissioner on the state degree. The notification shall be by a discover, transmitted electronically and in exhausting copies giving particulars of the general public rallies, conferences, processions or public gathering not later than seven days to the date of the occasion.”
In line with Okoye, campaigns by events shall be based mostly on their revealed manifestos and shall adjust to the provisions of rules issued by the fee.
He added that the campaigns shouldn’t violate the Nationwide Broadcasting Fee and public well being rules.
The INCE commissioner acknowledged, “All of the registered political events are conscious of the worldwide pandemic and the way it has affected the best way we dwell and organise and we anticipate political events to issue the well being and security of Nigerians into their pointers for campaigns and rallies.
“We anticipate political events to be artistic, progressive and dynamic of their rallies and campaigns. It’s the duty of political events to design marketing campaign methods consistent with the rules and protocols issued by well being authorities.”