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  • Updated: September 20, 2022

2023: Senate President, Others Warn Against Hate Speech

2023: Senate President, Others Warn Against Hate Speech

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other stakeholders in the polity have asked politicians in the country to make their campaigns issue-based and without hate speech ahead of the 2023 elections.

The warning was given at an event organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) on Monday in Abuja, with the theme ‘Political communication and issue-based campaigns in the 2023 general elections’.

Political campaigns will officially begin on September 28, 2022, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Speaking on hate speech, Ahmad Lawan stated that since independence, Nigeria's elections have been marred by polarising rhetoric and deep-seated divisions relating to ethnicity, religion and other primordial sentiments.

He warned politicians to desist from the trend and instead address many of the nation's social and economic challenges.

“Recent developments in the country have once again exposed the sharp divide and the enduring legacy of our political history since amalgamation and independence in 1960.

“Rather than emphasise discussion on policy positions to address many of the social and economic challenges we face, we are engaged in frivolous, illogical and sensational exchanges", he stated.

On his part, Femi Gbajabiamila said: "As we prepare to commence campaign activities precisely nine days from today (statutorily for a period of 150 days before polling day), it is critical that we familiarise ourselves with the rules of the game and set ourselves a basic standard of conduct mainly because of our place as leaders and the weight that our utterances carry among our supporters and followers."

Additionally, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah, opined that the major problem of the country is how to manage its diversity, cautioning against divisive acts, hate speech and primordial sentiments.


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