2023 elections: NOA urges politicians to shun disinformation, hate speech

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on politicians to shun disinformation and hate speech capable of disrupting the electoral process during 2023 poll.

The Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, gave the advice on Wednesday at the National Fact Checking Course Eight for Information Officers of Security Agencies and Government’s Agencies in Abuja.

Abari expressed concern over the upsurge in disinformation, misinformation and malformation used as a tool by politicians to cause disaffection and division among people.

This, he said, is heating up the polity and negatively affecting the very fabric of our national peace and cohesion as we draw closer to the general elections.

“We have seen narrative especially in the social media that are often intended to instigate hate, anger, and acrimony with the aim of causing disaffection, division along our fault lines.

“We have seen in recent times how some politicians desperate for power and resorting to disinformation as a tool for opposition and destabilization.

“Some religious bigots are recklessly elevating their pulpits for sermonizing on hate and division, while ethnic warlords and secessionists are deploying hate speech and threatening to disrupt electoral process come election day,’’ NOA chief said.

He said that the fact checking course was one of the strategies deployed by the agency to tackle the menace of disinformation in the nation’s information eco-system.

Also unveiling the “Fall in Love with Nigeria Campaign’’ the director-general also called on Nigerians to show love to one another and fall in love with the country to promote peaceful co-existence of the country.