President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a warning to presidential candidates as the 2023 election campaign begins.
He urged politicians to issue-based campaigns devoid of incitement, spreading fake news, personal insults and attacks.
He spoke in a video message at the signing of the 2023 election Peace Accord by the presidential candidates, organised by the National Peace Committee, on Thursday in Abuja.
Buhari warned that the rise of fake news and misinformation has continued to pose a significant threat to democracy in Nigeria.
He said fake news and misinformation have shifted focus away from issue-based campaigns to amplifying the potential for personal attacks, insults and incitements.
He noted that this has significantly diminished civility and decency in public discourse and debate.
Reiterating his commitment to peaceful, credible and transparent elections, President Buhari said what the Peace Committee, led by its chairman and a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has been doing over the years, aligns with his belief that Nigeria needs peace to achieve credible elections.
”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,” the President said re-echoing the words of the Chairman of the Peace Committee, last week.
He stated, ”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.
”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.
”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.”