The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has set standards that must be met by political parties before holding public rallies for the Edo and Ondo state governorship polls amid rising coronavirus cases in the country.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye also announced in Abuja that before holding any rally, political parties must give INEC a seven-day notice. It was leant that gathered the criteria, were aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 at the rallies.

He noted that the commission had informed political parties that their guidelines for campaigns must conform with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control,  NCDC protocols, including social distancing and use of face masks.

The INEC commissioner also cautioned against crowded rallies, saying political parties are encouraged to develop appropriate guidelines for the conduct of rallies and campaigns taking into consideration all the guidelines and protocols developed by health authorities at the national and state levels.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said such gatherings could lead to a further spike in coronavirus cases.