The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it had not fixed the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 14 to deny Nigerians the opportunity to celebrate love on Valentine’s day.
INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega’s Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Idowu, explained 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,” Idowu said.
He urged Nigerians to remember the essence of the Valentine’s Day to ensure elections are conducted peacefully on the day.
“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 behaviour of voters as they go out to vote,” Idowu said.
According to him, 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 vote in the forthcoming elections had submitted its report to the commission.
“Very soon, the specific modality will be announced as to how the IDPs will be able to vote,” he said.