Lagos—Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, said yesterday that hate speeches by politicians would undermine the country’s electoral process and democracy. Fashola said this when a delegation of the Council of the Wise, led by its Coordinator, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari paid him a courtesy visit in Lagos. The council of the wise is a think-tank committed to peaceful and acceptable elections in Nigeria.
The governor during the visit said efforts must be made to stop the ugly trend, and to institute a means of holding politicians accountable for not only their actions but that of their supporters as well. “The only way to hold politicians accountable is not only for what is done by them but that which is also done on their behalf,” he said.
The governor said it was important for candidates of political parties at all levels to always disassociate themselves from hate speeches and actions capable of disrupting the peace.
“When thugs begin to terrorise people on the street, the candidate should be able to disown actions of such persons. “We are helping to promote violence by allowing hate speeches by politicians,” he said. The governor also stressed that those seeking for political offices must regard their quest as a call to serve the people not their vested interest. On the use of card readers, he said that jettisoning it would be unfair to Nigerians when so much money had been spent on its procurement.
Gambari had also visited the Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh in Lagos, where he solicited for partnership. He said that the station had been very objective and committed to the ethics of journalism. “We need you as partners. I consider channels as my station. We need your cooperation,”he said. He accused some politicians of making “irresponsible speeches” that could undermine the unity of the country.
Gambari called on religious, traditional and other critical leaders to support efforts aimed at promoting peaceful elections in the country. Responding, Momoh promised to support the council to achieve its objective. “We will do everything possible to cue into the vision of the council, we are more than ready to come into the area of support for the council,”he said.