Politicians have been urged to dwell more in selling themselves and their party manifestoes, and avoid campaign of calumny and hate speech during campaigns.
Chief Davies Ikanya, former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers gave the advice on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
He said that there was need for political parties and their candidates to be more concerned about selling their manifestos to electorate rather than making boastful or derogatory comments against their opponents.
According to him, campaign of calumny will be the worse threat to the country’s already challenged security mechanism.
Ikanya, who is also the candidate representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro federal constituency on the platform of the APC, said “as an experienced state party leader, I had in the past witnessed several avoidable violence caused by hate speech during political campaigns.
“Over the years as a party leader, I’ve come to understand that there is need for candidates to ensure that electorates are well abraced with positive initiatives of the various political parties.
“But most times, the reverse had been the situation as some party faithfuls rather engage themselves in campaign of calumny all through the stipulated campaign period.
“The nagetive effect of hate speech during campaigns is strong enough to cause a breach of peace in an affected area or even ruin an entire electoral process.”
Commending Federal Government’s lofty crusade against hate speech, Ikanya urged politicians to gaurd against the phenomenon to promote peaceful electioneering process.
He also urged members of his constituency to conduct themselves peacefully throughout the campaign period, adding that violence would be resisted during the exercise.
He said “I look forward to a very robust but peaceful campaign in Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro federal constituency.
“All through the period of our grassroot consultations, we had recorded peaceful outings and I believe same will be replicated in our campaign.
“I’m a lover of peace and will not relent from handing to the security operatives any miscreant who will want to sabotage our political campaigns.”
The former party boss also condemned the spate of killings in some parts of the state and urged security agencies to ensure lives and property were protected.