The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to sanction any politician who engages in direct public political campaign before the designated time approved by the commission.
It, however, said prospective aspirants could hold consultations and meetings, so long as they are not direct public gatherings.
INEC National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education (IVEC), Festus Okoye, stated this in Kano on Monday, during a capacity building workshop for Heads of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) and Public Affairs Officers of the Commission from the 19 northern states and the FCT.
“Political parties are free to do their congresses, conventions and meetings. These are normal and consistent with the constitution and the electoral act. People are also free to aspire for political positions; it is their constitutional right.
“Our concern is that political parties are not supposed to engage in campaigns at this point in time, except for states having their local government elections for that purpose. Because, as of now, we are still operating within the existing electoral framework that makes it mandatory for political parties to only begin campaigns 90 days to election.
“What is not allowed is campaigning in public, but you can go and hold meetings with like minds,” Okoye added.
On the possibility of holding elections in states affected by insecurity, the commissioner assured that INEC is working with all the relevant security agencies to make sure that no community is disenfranchised due to insecurity