By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Celebrities from different sections of the entertainment industry in the country, have called on politicians and their supporters to moderate their speeches.
They warned that hate speech had the capacity of threatening national security and peaceful co-existence.
Operating under the auspices of Celebrities Unite for Peace (CUP), the entertainers vowed to sensitive stakeholders on the need to eschew actions that could trigger tribal division, religious intolerance, extremism and the like.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, yesterday, convener of CUP, Andy Chukwu, said members have committed to sensitisation of stakeholders on the need to be circumspect in the use of social media, especially.
“Owing to the commencement of electioneering campaigns in line with INEC directives, electorates are bound to pitch tents with different political parties and candidates.
“This usually gives rise to verbal warfare as supporters are always ready to go the extra mile to market and promote their candidates.
“Sometimes, this results to hate speech, dissemination of fake news to discredit their opponents, with resultant violence.
“Having carefully considered the effect of these vices, we have offered ourselves as mediators between the citizens, the political parties and the candidates, to educate them on the need to jettison hate speech, fake news and shun violence before, during and after the elections.
“…even before the advent of the 2023 general election calendar, the social media space, regional platforms…have been unnecessarily charged by fake news, social instigating, tribal and religious sentiments.But for the gallantry of our law enforcement agents, especially the DSS, whose capacity in intelligence gathering and management have ensured national stability, as most of these vices are obvious threats to our national unity and security at large”, Chukwu said.