INEC warns politicians against hate speech, use of masquerades, religious centres for campaigns
• Says it won’t disenfranchise anybody as speculated
• Do away with nepotism, Bishop tells voters
• LP candidate, others urge Nigerians to vote rightly
• Ekpu urges electorates to interrogate politicians
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, urged politicians to shun hate speech, desist from using masquerades and abstain from use of public facilities and religious centres during campaigns.
This also came as the Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa, urged Nigerians to do away with nepotism and parochial sentiment in voting for candidates.
They stated these during the first stakeholders’ summit organised by Rural and Urban Stewardship Initiative for Sustainable Development (RUSISD) with the theme: “Inclusive Civic Education for Deepening Democratic Process in Nigeria”, which held at Comfort Akinfenwa Hall, Molete, Ibadan.
The Administrative Secretary of the electoral body in Oyo State, Biodun Onikate-Amosu, urged Nigerians to co-operate with the commission to ensure a hitch-free, credible, fair and inclusive 2023 general elections.
The Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, who is the convener of the programme, said: “Do away with nepotism and partisan interest. If we want to bring a change, we should do away with nepotism and ethnicity.”
ALSO, the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Oyo State, Twafiq Akinwale, said the electorate must move away from old ways of electing leaders and vote for a new set of leaders that will bring development.
On his part, the Dean of Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Olanrewaju Olaniyan, urged Nigerians to be watchful, saying voting wrong candidates in 2023 will come with grave consequences.
The keynote speaker said: ‘’Shine your eyes and vote for credible candidates. Make sure you vote for credible people in 2023. If you vote for the wrong candidates, you are in for the next four years. The consequence of voting wrongly is grave.”
Meanwhile, as the RUSISD Chairman, Ven. Adewale Sanda, said the organisation would not give up in working towards a good nation, Mrs. Chinyere Onuoha, in her remarks, stressed the need for journalists and security agents to be allowed to vote during polls for inclusiveness.
MEANWHILE, a columnist and co-founder of Newswatch magazine, Ray Ekpu, has advised the electorate to grill politicians on what they would do differently to change the narrative of the country.
Ekpu, who also spoke as chairman of the event, said: “My message to Nigerians is to query the politicians. Ask them how they will do it and interrogate the how. There is high brain drain because Nigeria has not provided the enabling environment for professionals to practise.”
“Go to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), the doctors buy their equipment and when they treat patients, they take the equipment back home. That is a hospital owned by the Federal Government. It’s a big shame and there is huge manpower in Nigeria.”