by Emmanuel Okubenji
The Country Director for the International Federation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Mr Charles Lasham, has attributed excessive spending during electioneering campaigns as one of the causes of political violence in Nigeria.
Lasham said this earlier today in Abuja. He also said that the practice had also resulted in loss of lives, destruction of property, political disintegration and apathy. As a result, he called on the relevant agencies to check the anomaly saying that political violence had prevented the electorate from embracing true values of democracy.
According to Mr. Lasham, excessive campaign expenditure also affected all aspects of good governance and by extension had become a detriment to the political development of the country. It also encourages massive corruption.
Lasham added that as Nigerians envisioned peaceful general elections in 2015, INEC must design strategies to tackle the challenge.
“This must be of great concern to all political parties and stakeholders; it must be adequately checked by civil society groups as well.”
Lasham called for a law to prevent the practice and a stringent mechanism to monitor excessive spending during campaigns. He commended INEC for creating improved relationship with political parties to enable them to participate fully in the preparation for future elections.
“The steps being taken by INEC will ensure credibility of elections; training is a key area that will improve the performance of electoral officers, while voter education will also improve the voting process.”