The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bauchi State on Thursday expressed concern over the level of violence and hate speech that have characterised rallies organised by political parties in the state.
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Bauchi State, made the observation at a special stakeholders’ meeting organised by the commission in Bauchi.
“I want to recall that the gubernatorial candidates of all political parties and other contestants had, on Dec. 17, 2018 signed a peace pact.
“I hereby observe with dismay that barely less than one month after the peace pact, some of the actors have failed to comply with the pact.
“Reports received by the commission show that violence and hate speech pervade rallies held by some political parties,’’ Abdullahi said.
He condemned violent attacks on political opponents at rallies in the state, in spite of the commission’s sensitisation of the stakeholders on its readiness to prosecute free, fair and credible elections.
“I want to advise all political actors in the state to adhere to the earlier peace pact and let us have rancour-free polls,’’ the resident electoral commissioner stressed.
Abdullahi noted that the commission had reached an agreement with the 11 state government-owned Community Radio Stations in the state, to improve on the sensitisation of the rural populace.
He said that the commission had also expanded its sensitisation of people in the state at the markets and villages, to ensure that nobody was left out of the exercise.
Abdullahi said that the agency had equally decentralised the distribution of PVCs at the ward level, to enable the electorate, yet to collect theirs, to do so.
He said that the exercise which commenced on Jan. 16, would be concluded on Jan. 21. (NAN)