The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it had not fixed the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 14, to rub Nigerians of the joy derivable from the Lovers’ Day.
The Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s Chairman, Kayode Idowu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the election date was a coincidence.
“When the commission was taking that decision, it never even occurred to the leaders of the commission that it was Valentine’s Day.
“But then, it is a day for showing love and if we can show love that will discourage people from fomenting violence.
“That will discourage you from being hateful towards another person on that day. It will make the election peaceful. So, it is a good coincidence. ’’
He, however, urged Nigerians to be guided by the meaning of Valentine’s Day to make the election peaceful.
“The message of the day is to show love for one another and therefore, there is no basis for violence, acrimony and being unruly because that day is a day for showing amenable conduct towards others.
“So, that should guide the behaviours of voters as they go out to vote.’’
Idowu also said that the task force set up by the commission on how to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country were given the opportunity to cast their votes in the forthcoming elections had submitted it report to the commission.
Kayode, however, did not gave details of the recommendations but said the report was now going through the internal processes of the commission.
“Very soon, the specific modality will be announced as to how the IDPs will be able to vote,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the task force was given seven work days to submit its report, beginning from Dec. 22, 2014.
The terms of reference of the task force, include examining the legal, political, security and administrative challenges in achieving IDPs’ voting during the election.
“To evaluate the standards and recommendations emerging from conferences and workshops by international and local agencies on IDP voting, and determine their applicability to Nigeria for the 2015 election.’’
It was also mandated to review the experiences of other countries in dealing with the challenges of IDPs voting.
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