Anambra - A group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, on Sunday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ban political rallies and campaigns in worship centres.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed and issued in Onitsha, Anambra State, by the group's Chairman and its Head of Publicity Desk, Emeka Umeagbalasi and Justus Ijeoma respectively.
It stated that the appeal was against the back-drop of the stampede at Holy Ghost Adoration Centre, Uke, in Idemili South Local Government Area, on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at least 25 people lost their lives and over 50 persons sustained various degree of injuries as a result of the incident.
The statement alleged that the stampede was caused by supporters of various political parties at the worship centre.
"Though the fatal stampede has been linked to “frying oil flames”, but other intervening forces such as political sabotage may not be ruled out.''
The group, therefore, advised INEC to ban all forms of political campaigns "in or close to worship centres'', in order to clearly separate politics from religion.
It also advised the Church to be wary of allowing politicians to use their premises for campaigns, adding, "ban should also be placed on their mass of supporters, who at times turn mischievous''.
It sympathised with the families of those that died as a result of the incident and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.