The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Thursday said some political parties and their candidates were heating up the polity.
He said the actions of some candidates for the March 28 and April 11 elections were becoming a threat to the conduct of peaceful polls.
Jega spoke during a meeting the commission had with registered political parties in Abuja.
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the commission located at Maitama District.
He also said the postponement of the general elections has afforded the commission the opportunity to further perfect the electoral process.
The meeting between Jega and the political parties was meant to brief the political parties on the level of preparation of INEC with regards to last Saturday’s field test of Card Readers in 12 states.
It is believed that the commission would have entertained questions from the parties, few of which have expressed reservations about the usage and reliability of the card readers.
Jega in his opening remark at the meeting, said candidates to various political offices were overheating the polity, just as he charged the political parties and their candidates to “live up to the spirit and letter of the peace accord” signed by presidential candidates and some state governors in the country.
While he pleaded with Nigerians to contribute to the success of the election, the INEC chairman called on the political parties and their candidates to engage the electoral process positively, saying it was “unfortunate that because of the actions of some political parties with some candidates, a lot of tension has already been raised.”
He added that “the attitude of candidates may affect whether we will have peaceful elections.”
While saying that the eyes of the world was on Nigeria, Jega also decried the conflicts and violence that he said had trailed campaigns.
He described them as “unwholesome events that we should all work hard to address.”
The chairman of the commission called on political parties to pay attention to and also select credible party agents that, he said, would be stationed at the polling units.
He advised political parties to train their agents, “because they are central to transparency of the electoral process.”
On the extension of the elections and preparations by the commission, Jega said, “We believe we are adequately prepared for the elections as we seize the six weeks extension to make supplementary preparations which we believe will add value to the elections.
“We believe that the period of extension has offered us an opportunity to further perfect the electoral process for the delivery of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections to the satisfaction of yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.”
However, speaking for the political parties at the meeting, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, Mr. Tanko Yunusa, said while the political parties would support the commission, the commission should look into all the complaints raised during the field test of card readers.