Kogi, Bayelsa polls: IPAC cautions against hate speech

INEC Election Ballot Box

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has urged political parties and stakeholders in Kogi and Bayelsa governorship poll to shun hate speech, misinformation and other forms of vices during the election.

IPAC President, High Chief Peter Ameh gave the advice in Abuja on Wednesday while briefing newsmen after the 9th National Executive Committee of the council.
Amen urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, Civil Society Groups and other stakeholders to disseminate correct information at all times.

He said that hate speech and misinformation do not add value to the county’s electoral or political systems as well the unity of Nigerians.

Amen added that hate speech, deliberate misinformation and dissemination of fake news were factors affecting the fairness of electioneering processes in Nigeria.
“IPAC condemns in strong terms all forms of hate speech and dissemination of fake information during and after campaigns, and even after the election is held.
“It is expedient to note that the damage caused by hate speech affects our political system and our national unity adversely affecting our continued peaceful co-existence in our country.
“IPAC, has always been on the frontline of campaign against hate speech in all election in Nigeria,” he said.
Ameh said that IPAC would foster adequate compliance of political parties, candidates and their supporters to ensure that statements that could cause violence, disintegration and electoral disinformation were not made during campaign in Kogi and Bayelsa poll.
“We are working with the media to make sure that our campaign and re-orientation programmes against hate speech and disinformation reach as many people in the two states.
“We believe that the more committed we are to the cause of seeing our democracy devoid of hate speech and disinformation, the more peaceful, free and fair and credible election will have in Nigeria.
“We shall not rest until we have succeeded in making sure that Nigerians in every states of the federation see elections as not a do or die affair but the only platform to produce managers of state resources trough good governance.
“It will be better for all of us to focus on the messages of commitment of political parties and their candidates through the commitment of political parties and their manifestos,” he said.
He also stressed the need to ensure that all participants were given level playing ground to exercise their franchise.

Ameh said that the council would work with INEC and stakeholders to ensure that the election is credible.