President Muhammadu Buhari says the initiative by the National Peace Committee to commit all political actors to issue-based campaigns devoid of incitement, personal insults and attacks, because the country needed peace for credible elections.
The president made his position known in a video-message to 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 had continued to pose a significant threat to democracy in Nigeria.
According to him, fake news and misinformation have shifted focus away from issue-based campaigns to amplifying the potential for personal attacks, insults and incitements.
He added that this had significantly diminished the civility and decency in public discourse and debate.
The president reiterated his commitment to peaceful, credible and transparent elections.
“What the Peace Committee, led by its chairman and a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubukar, has been doing over the years, aligns with the belief that Nigeria needs peace in order 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, therefore, called 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 ensuring peaceful elections in Nigeria.”