President Muhammadu Buhari has asked presidential candidates to shun incitements and commit to issue-based campaigns.
The president said this on Thursday at the 2023 elections peace accord signing organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) in Abuja.
In a statement released by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, 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,” he said.
”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.”
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.
He reiterated his commitment to peaceful, credible and transparent elections, adding 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,” Buhari said.
Marking the start of the campaign season, the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday, unveiled its presidential campaign council.