President Muhammadu Buhari has asked presidential candidates to shun incitements and commit to issue-based campaigns.
The president, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this on Thursday in a video message at the 2023 elections peace accord signing organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC), in Abuja.
Buhari said fake news and misinformation tend to fuel personal attacks, insults, and incitements.
”I appeal to the contestants, especially their publicity agents and media advisers to shun personal attacks, avoid insults and incitement, reject the spread of fake news, and commit to issue-based campaigns and political rallies.
”The 2023 election is more than an election, it is an opportunity to serve Nigeria, to defend Nigeria and to uphold her unity and progress.
”Therefore, I call on all Nigerians, political parties, politicians, security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and all stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria is placed first above regional and sectional claims,” he said.
The president said misinformation has significantly diminished the civility and decency in public discourse and debate, describing it as a threat to democracy.
He acknowledged the initiative undertaken by the NPC to commit political actors to issue-based campaigns and reiterated his commitment to peaceful, credible and transparent elections.
Buhari added that the NPC’s actions align with his belief that Nigeria needs peace in order to achieve credible elections.
”Once again, let me emphasise that everything must be done to support the National Peace Committee in its work to ensure peaceful elections in Nigeria,” he said.