INEC warns political parties against violent congresses

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that it may not recognise the outcome of violent party congresses.
In a statement on Monday in Abuja, spokesman of the commission, Mr. Festus Okoye, threatened that any political party that cannot conduct peaceful congresses would be blacklisted.
Okoye lamented that the level of violence in the congresses is making it “extremely difficult” for the commission to exercise its oversight responsibility, stressing that properties of the commission were being destroyed in the aftermath of violence while the lives of participants and its staff are endangered.
The statement said, “This Commission will not stand askance and watch party conventions and congresses degenerate into farcical rituals and violent fiascos that threaten lives and destroy property.
“For the avoidance of doubt, INEC will henceforth reconsider its involvement in these events, should they continue to put lives of members of the public and staff of the Commission at risk.
“Henceforth, there will be far-reaching consequences in any situation where party congresses and conventions degenerate into violence and destruction of INEC property. Apart from replacing such destroyed materials, parties may be blacklisted from the receipt of INEC materials for their activities in the future.
“The Commission may also withdraw its staff from monitoring such violent political party meetings, with the resultant non-recognition of their outcomes.”
The recent zonal congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were characterised by violence, especially in the North West Zone, were the election process ended in chaos.

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