The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday expressed concern over growing conflicts among contestants within political parties.
The National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, expressed the view in Abuja at the National Youth Conference on the roadmap to the 2015 elections in Nigeria.
“INEC remains deeply concerned about widespread absence of moderation among Nigerian politicians and growing conflicts within parties and between contestants.
“This is because even if the management of elections meets the highest standards, in so far as the contestants are unwilling to play by the rules, there will be grave problem.
“The threats are now exacerbated by insecurity in some parts of the country, making the conduct of elections in those parts even more risk-prone”, he said.
The chairman, represented by a National Commissioner of the commission, Mr Ismail Igbani, appealed to politicians to avoid provocative statement on the 2015 elections.
“If you listen to comments of some politicians on 2015 general elections you will assume that Nigeria is preparing for war”, he said.
The chairman said the use of language by some politicians was in most cases “indecorous and encouraging supporters to follow suit with more intemperate language”.
According to him, parties even find it difficult to select candidates, which create a situation in which practically every nomination process ends in a court case.
He said that the commission had on several occasions, got either directly or vicariously involved in the conflicts and court cases.
“Indeed, some pre-election court cases in the past have threatened to derail preparations for elections. Of particular note is the spate of ex-parte injunctions issued against the commission”, Jega said.
He, however, stressed the need for active citizens’ participation in the political process to provide checks against impunity in political culture.
Jega called on the youth to come out en-mass and register to enable them to vote candidates of their choice in 2015 elections.
The Project Director, Democratic Governance for Development, Dr Mourtada Deme, urged the youth to engage in the electoral process to give them a strong political voice in the country.
Deme said that an inclusive democratic society should ensure that youth participated in its affairs, stressing that effort should be made to educate the youth on the importance of voting. (NAN)