The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has cautioned political parties and candidates to avoid making bogus promises they know they will not fulfil just to hoodwink citizens for their votes.
The group in a statement by its acting executive director, Faith Nwadishi urged political parties to restrict itself to realistic goals and promises, just as he urged them to make their campaigns issue based and avoid hate speeches.
The group expressed concern that political hate speeches are taking up the political air space in recent times and assuming frightening dimensions.
The CTA director said political campaigns should not be allowed to be filled with undesirable speeches, cautioning that it is a dangerous trend and if left unchecked, can harm the country’s democracy.
She therefore urged political leaders to be role models and display the spirit of nationalism rather than political rascality and divisiveness through hate speeches that might degenerate and destroy Nigeria’s national unity.
According to her, “In line with the advise by INEC to political parties to conduct their activities in an organized and peaceful manner, devoid of rancour, hate and/or inflammatory speeches’ CTA therefore, calls on political parties, leaders, elder statesmen and party supporters to eschew the use of hate speeches and stop creating unnecessary tension in the polity.
“This country is greater than all of us and any political party or association. We appeal to political leaders not to promote their selfish interests through the use of hate speeches.”
Nwadishi also expressed concern at what he described as the increasing sophistication of political parties and their agents in colluding among themselves to pull resources together to bribe election officials in order buy votes and induce voters.
She said, “With the hard stance taken by INEC against vote buying, political parties and their agents have devised a means of vote buying, by collecting account details of voters or giving them money long before they come to the polling units to vote. It will appear therefore; that the citizens have become complacent, apathetic and disenchanted with the entire process and therefore, seemingly, lost hope with the system.
“if not checked, this is another time bomb waiting to explode.”