From John Adams, Minna
The National Peace Committee has expressed concerns over worsening economic situation, saying the situation has made vote buying and vote selling easy, especially as witnessed in Osun and Ekiti states.
The Committee equally described as worrisome, the pattern of communication among political actors, their publicity agents, spokespersons, and media consultants which has amplified the potential for personal attacks, insult, and incitement, and therefore has relegated to the background, “the civility and decency in public discourse and debate.”
While appealing to political actors, especially their publicity agents and media advisers to shun personal attacks, avoid insults and incitement, the committee reminded all Nigerians that the 2023 general elections is more than an election.
“It is an opportunity to serve Nigeria, to defend Nigeria and to uphold her unity and progress,” it declared.
In a communique at the end of its one-day meeting at the residence of its chairman and former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and jointly signed by himself and the Convener, Most Reverend, Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Committee said the development has shifted focus from issue-based Campaigns to consolidating politics and politics of thuggery.
“The pattern of public communication among political actors, their publicity agents, spokespersons, and media consultants has amplified the potential for personal attacks, insults, and incitement.”
It said attacks by politicians and their supporters on opponents has relegated to the background, the civility and decency in public discourse and debate. It has shifted focus away from issue-based campaigns, to consolidating identity politics and the politics of thuggery.
“In view of this, there is need to promote a culture of healthy issue-based campaigns and political communication. Consequently, the National Peace Committee, has organised the signing of two Peace Accords for the 2023 general elections.”
The first Peace Accord would be on Thursday, September 29, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to commit all political parties, presidential candidates and their spokespersons to peaceful political campaigns and rallies, devoid of violence, incitement and personal insults, but defined by issues at the very heart of national development and progress.
“The second Peace Accord, will come up shortly before the elections, and it is intended to commit candidates to accepting the outcome of the votes as long as it is adjudged to be free, fair and credible.”
Abubakar admonished stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria is placed above regional and sectional interest.
“Therefore, the NPC calls on all Nigerians, politicians, political parties, security agencies, the election management body, INEC and all stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria is placed first above regional and sectional claims.
“The PC reminds all Nigerians that the 2023 general election is more than an election. It is an opportunity to serve Nigeria, to defend Nigeria and to uphold her unity and progress. Nigerians should avoid the spread of fake news and uphold the principles of tolerance, respect, civility and decency in all public and private conversations and engagements about the elections and the progress of Nigeria.”
The highlight of the National Peace Committee meeting was the briefing from the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Muhamoud Yakubu that the commission is fully ready for the 2023 general elections.
All the members of the National Peace Committee were in attendant at the meeting which also admitted some new members including Femi Otedola.