Barely two weeks to the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 General Elections, an NGO, the African Youth Assembly for Peace (AYAP), cautioned politicians in the country against hate speeches.
Mr Abdul-Aziz Yusuf, Head of Communications of the group, gave the caution on Wednesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Yusuf urged campaign managers of various political parties to ensure that their campaign was issue-based, to convince electorate into voting their candidates.
He said campaign of calumny and deceit would not be healthy for democracy, adding that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must ensure that parties respected the rules of the game.
“ As Campaign starts soon, we expect to hear issues that affect our lives as Nigerians, especially issues on security, health, infrastructure, education and the economy.
“This is not the time for hate speeches, insults or intimidation.
“ INEC must caution the candidates of political parties to focus on their manifestoes, instead of defamation which have the potential of frustrating the electoral processes,’’ he said.
The group urged the political parties to initiate and strengthen policies in their party manifestos to guarantee youths’ participation in the next administration.
He extolled the tenacity of some young political aspirants who summoned courage to partake in the forthcoming elections.
According to him, that will encourage other young people to participate in the process.
“ It is interesting that our youths are beginning to challenge what they face in the electoral system by articulating strategies that circumvent the hurdles and expand the political space for their active participation.
“ Their voices have begun to signal their readiness to become leaders of today and no more of tomorrow,’’ he said.
NAN reports that INEC has set Sept. 28 for the commencement of campaigns for Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
That of Governorship and State Houses of Assembly will start on Oct. 12. (NAN)