Following the recent confirmation of more cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in several states and the continued rising number of infections and hospitalization across the country, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), has called on all political parties, State governments, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) to ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols in the conduct of all political events in the country.
Political mass gatherings serve as super-spreaders events for the propagation of COVID-19 infection in our communities. Such events must be carefully controlled to ensure maximum public safety in terms of the risk of transmitting the infection among the vulnerable population.
In line with this, the PSC through its chairman, Boss Mustapha, has reiterated the significance of the publicized INEC policy on the conduct of political events and the Code of Conduct for Voters and Political Parties within the context of COVID-19.
In his communique on Friday, Mr. Mustapha who also serves as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) cautioned all political parties to institute public health and social measures in all locations where political events will occur.
These measures include:
i. Mandatory use of face masks for everyone attending these political events. Persons without face masks should not be allowed access to the venues
ii. Hand hygiene facilities including soap and water/ hand sanitizers should be made available for people before gaining access to the venues
iii. Enclosed venues should be adequately ventilated and must not exceed 50% of venue capacity (a minimum of 2 metres should be observed among people at the gathering).
iv. If essential, multiple locations or time-slotting should be used with appropriate numbers of people to enable adequate physical distancing in each gathering per time.
The PSC called upon all Political Parties, INEC, and SIECs to ensure and enforce compliance to the extent possible of these provisions and other safety measures to protect the Nigerian population.