The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Monday warned political office holders to desist from deploying public property in their electioneering campaigns even as it urged them to make clear distinction between political party activities and government activities.
There have been allegations that some government functionaries have been using the instrumentality of their offices to advance the interest of their political parties.
But, INEC Chairman’s spokesman,, Mr. Kayode Idowu, while announcing the Code of Conduct of campaign and elections in Abuja warned politician to desist from such act, cautioning against inflammatory statements during campaigns.
The Commission said all registered political parties have undertaken to abide by the codes, adding that “no political party or candidate shall during campaign resort to the use of inflammatory language, provocative actions, images or manifestation that could prompt violence, hatred, contempt or intimidation against another party or candidate or any person or group of persons on grounds of ethnicity or gender.”
INEC further said that “no political party or candidate shall be allowed to issue any poster, pamphlet, leaflet or other publication containing inciting statements, adding that the political parties must take all necessary steps to coordinate their campaign activities in such a way to avoid holding rallies, meetings, marches or demonstrations close to one another at the same time.”
According to the Commission “whenever the date, venue or timing of any such activities of different political parties clashed, the party representatives would meet to resolve the issue amicably without resorting to intimidation, force or violence.”
Adding further that all parties were required to file with the commission, details of their public rallies and meetings in any particular area, directing that “no political party or any person or group of persons acting in its name shall obstruct, disrupt, break up or in any way whatsoever interfere with a meeting, rally march, demonstration, or any campaign activity of another political party.
“Every political party shall expressly forbid its supporters from shouting its slogan, wearing its identifying colours or other paraphernalia to the rallies and any public gathering of other political parties.
“No political party or candidate shall prevent other parties or candidates from pasting their posters or distributing their leaflets, hand bills and other publicity materials in public place”.
He warned incumbent officeholders against the use of public assets like government vehicles, aircraft and Government Houses and offices for raising funds and hosting of political meetings.