The Independent National Electoral Commission has sent letters of warning to all political parties, asking them to stop campaigns.
The warning was sequel to activities of majority of the political parties which were considered to be against the provisions of the law on electioneering.
The commission had released the timetable and schedule of the 2019 general elections in January when it said that campaigns must not commence before December, which is three months to the commencement of the elections.
However, majority of the political parties ignored the timetable and flooded the political space with campaigns.
The electoral body was said to have expressed worry and therefore, asked its state Resident Electoral Commissioners to call the attention of the political parties in their states to the provisions of the law guiding electoral activities.
In one of the letters to the political parties in Sokoto State, sighted by our correspondent, the REC, Sadiq Buba Musa, asked the political parties to desist from early campaigns.
His memo, titled “2019 general election campaign violation,” with Reference Number INEC /PP//245 /Vol. /310, was dated April 23, 2018.
In the letter, Musa regretted that the commission had observed that some of the political parties had violated the provisions of the law guiding electoral campaigns.
While warning them to desist from further violation of the law, he nevertheless warned that the commission would punish any political parties that ignored his warning.
His letter partly read, “As you are aware, the activities of all registered political parties are to be in compliance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended).
“Consequently, the commission has observed with dismay that some political parties have already started campaigning publicly, and by so doing, contravening the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) regarding public campaigns.
“In the light of the above, you are advised to strictly adhere to Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which stipulates that for the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and ends 24 hours prior to that day.
“Section 100 (1) states that a candidate and his party shall campaign for election in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be determined by the commission.
“Section 99 (2) (B) also provides that a maximum fine of N500‚ 000. 00 for contravening section (91) and (2) shall be enforced.
“l therefore appeal to all registered political parties in the state to be law abiding as we look forward to a peaceful conduct of 2019 General Elections.
“However, any political party that chooses to ignore this appeal and is found to be in breach of the provisions of the law shall face the full wrath of the law.
“Please accept the assurances of my esteem regards.”