The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is happy with the trend the 2019 election campaign has followed so far.
It was learnt on Wednesday that the Commission is closely monitoring the ongoing campaign by various political parties and candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The campaign for the 2019 presidential election officially began on Sunday November 13, as provided for by the Electoral Act.
INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday, said the commission was happy with the trend of the campaign, which, he noted, has been on policies rather than personalities.
He hoped that the trend would continue that way.
Yakubu said: “The commission is committed to closely monitoring the campaigns pursuant to our statutory mandate and to ensure compliance with the extant laws and regulations. We are pleased that the focus in the last few days since the commencement of the campaigns has been on policies rather than personalities. We sincerely hope it remains this way.”
Also reacting to the Kwara State bye-election at the weekend, the INEC boss promised that the commission would arrest and prosecute those involved in the attack on its workers and destruction of electoral materials.
Yakubu added that the commission would work with security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.
He said: “On a sad note, the commission lost four members of staff in Kogi State and one in Edo State to road accidents last week. Similarly, two of our staff survived road accidents in Katsina State during the bye-election last weekend and one election duty staff suffered a head injury following attack by hoodlums, who destroyed election materials at a polling unit in Kwara State.
“We are deeply saddened by these incidents. While we pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery, we will work with the security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the attack on our staff and vandalisation of election materials.”
On the window for political parties to substitute their candidates ahead of the 2019 elections, Yakubu said: “For governorship and state Assembly elections, the submission of nomination forms closed on November 2, 2018, while the last day for substitution and withdrawal of candidates is December 1, 2018.”
He also reiterated that the Area Council elections in the FCT will hold on March 2, 2019, along with the governorship and state Assembly elections.
He stated that the list of candidates for elections will be published yesterday in its Federal Capital Territory office and also at the six Area Councils.
On the meeting with RECs, he said the meeting would provide opportunity for the electoral body to review the progress on collection of outstanding Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).