Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general election , the Centre for Democracy and Development CDD, has called on political actors to ensure issue based campaigns.
While charging parties and their candidates to desist from electoral disinformation and misinformation, CDD urged INEC and NPC to institute a fact check hub, to curtail some of these issues.
The Executive Director CDD, Idayat Hassan,made the charges in a statement made available to TheExplainer on Wednesday.
She stated that “With an estimated 95 million registered voters deciding 1,491 election contests, including a term-limited president, it is important for issues affecting citizens to be at the forefront of the political debate”
” These include challenges in security and economic sectors, education, health, power and agriculture among others. Debates that prioritise religious and ethnic division only serves to distract citizens from making informed decisions while voting”.
“CDD recently released a report titled ‘Nigeria’s presidential polls: A SWOT analysis’, which highlighted several key areas that could make or mar the conduct of the elections. In line with some of the findings outlined in the analysis, the CDD therefore charges political actors to desist from promoting political violence which is inimical to Nigeria’s development”.
” Politicians must consider Nigeria first, above their personal aspirations.
This is because the nature of the on going campaign might pose the biggest threat to the peaceful pre- and post- election conduct, as fake news and disinformation has the potential to further fragment the country and skew the electoral outcome”.
“However, we are optimistic that the participation of all 18 registered political parties in the signing of the National Peace Accord, which includes aiming to desist from peddling fake news and disinformation, shows a commitment by politicians to commit to addressing this issue.”
“This is why we believe it is important the Nigeria Peace Committee and INEC should institute a fact check hub to monitor the peddling of fake news by political parties, its candidates, and supporters before, during and after the general election and sanction defaulters of the Peace Accord appropriately”.
CDD advised voters, social media users, citizens journalists, and mainstream media executives to always fact check information before sharing.