Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has asked his supporters to suspend campaigns for his re-election.
President Buhari noted that this was imperative in order to avoid breaching the rules of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria’s electoral umpire.
The Nigerian President said this in a statement which was issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
President Buhari said his supporters’ enthusiasm was “borne out of their desire to garner support for an administration that is actuated by nothing else, other than service for motherland”.
The President added that there will be ample opportunity for them to showcase his administration’s achievements and campaign for him.
“It has been observed that some fervent supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari have begun what may be interpreted as political campaigns in their advocacy and advertisements in the mass media,” the statement read.
“We appreciate their enthusiasm, borne out of desire to garner support for an administration that is actuated by nothing else, other than service for motherland, but we hereby appeal for patience, so that the game can be played according to the rules.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a timetable for political campaigns, and we urge committed supporters round the country (and beyond) to be mindful of such. There will be ample time ahead to trumpet the good works of the Buhari administration, and solicit re-election, all for the good of our country and her people.
“While a chronicle of the achievements of the administration is in order now, outright canvasing may amount to jumping the gun. We are an administration committed to due process and scrupulous respect for rules, law and order.
“We appreciate our massive supporters nationwide, and urge them to exercise restraint till the race commences officially as stipulated by law”, the statement added.
Political Stew reports that INEC timetable shows that party primaries for the presidential, governorship, federal and state elections will begin on August 18 and end on October 7, 2018, while that of the FCT area council elections will commence on September 4 to end on October 27, 2018.
The campaigns by political parties for presidential election would begin November 18, while that for the national assembly elections would start December 1.
Governorship, state assembly and FCT area council candidates are not expected to mount the rostrum before 2nd, December.
The last day for the submission of nomination forms to INEC is December 3, 2018, for presidential and national assembly elections; December 17 for the governorship and state assembly and December 14, 2018, for the FCT Area council elections.
The presidential election will hold on February 16, 2019, while governorship and state assembly elections would be conducted on March 2, 2019.