INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to blacklist any political party that conducts acrimonious congress.
National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated this in a statement, yesterday.
Okoye said this was the only way INEC may decry recurrent acrimony, violence and destruction of property that characterise party congresses in a manner that quickly sends the message home.
According to him, the level of violence in some of the congresses is making it extremely difficult for the commission to exercise its statutory oversight responsibility as demanded by law.
“INEC remains deeply concerned about the acrimony and violence within parties such that there are now more suits in various courts of law arising from party congresses and primaries than from elections conducted by the commission. The commission would not hesitate to withdraw its staff from monitoring any violent political party meetings, with the resultant non-recognition of their outcomes,” he said.
Okoye further explained that INEC derived the powers to do so from its statutory oversight responsibility enshrined in Sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), reminding political parties to nominate their candidates for the Anambra State governorship election and by-election into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council elections.
“Parties must stick to the respective timetable and schedule of activities for these elections as released by the commission, which have been communicated to them and are available at the INEC website. Parties must ensure their primaries are peaceful and orderly. Above all, they must adhere strictly to the Electoral Act, INEC regulations and guidelines, as well as party constitutions and rules, which are domiciled with the commission,” he continued.