Labour Party (LP) has advised political parties in Nigeria to focus on issue-based campaigns rather than engage in defaming others for publicity.
Mr. Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the party said this at a news conference on the state of the nation in Abuja on Thursday.
Baba-Ahmed said that the acts of insulting and defaming others were a violation of the peace accord signed by political parties.
“It is not too late to adopt LP’s style of strictly campaigning on relevant practical national issues while respecting individuals and institutions,” he said.
He said that the LP Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, was a successful businessman before joining politics.
“Obi is a two-term governor and a former Vice-Presidential Candidate before he moved to the LP, as the Presidential Candidate enjoying tremendous goodwill and overwhelming support of the people.
“In the squabble for second and third positions, some erstwhile major political parties appear to have crossed the boundaries of decency to transgress our peaceful activities and our focus on political schedules.
“On Sept. 29 an eminent group of statesmen under the aegis of the National Peace Committee brought together all the Presidential Candidates to sign a Peace Accord, which represents an agreed code of conduct for the 2023 Presidential Election.
“It is unfortunate that in spite of the noble objectives of this initiative, disinformation, and misinformation about the LP and its candidates have become fashionable in this election season,” he said.
Baba Ahmed added: “Recently, for example, there was a false narrative being spread nationwide that Mr. Peter Obi is against the production of oil in the north; nothing could be farther from the truth.”
He said that that was not true about Obi as he has repeatedly stated at various local and international fora that the greatest physical asset of Nigeria was the vast rich land in the North.
He said that Obi declared his commitment to exploit the same as a visionary transformative leader to exploit same for the overwhelming benefit of the Nigerian people.
“To the architect of ‘consumption to production, oil in the North means more revenue for development, more jobs, and opportunities,” he said.
Baba Ahmed said that earlier attempts to discredit the Obi’s candidacy through fabricated allegations of demolition of mosques, internal deportation of Northerners, issuance of ID cards to northerners, and ethnic hostilities were all conclusively proven to be false and without basis.
He called on politicians who had made negative and bad comments to pull down or demean others to respectfully retract the same in order to be readmitted to the honor list of esteemed presidential candidates.
“Truth of the matter is that every Nigerian from anywhere needs a credible and competent President. Simple.”
Baba-Ahmed said the party was also concerned about the fate of areas designated by security agencies as ungoverned spaces which contain legally delineated polling units.
He said that it was necessary for INEC to clearly address the nation on how it intended to handle the challenge of conducting elections in these areas.
He said over the past few months the party had witnessed various attacks on its offices, meetings, and members in parts of the country including INEC offices have not been spared.
Baba Ahmed called on the Federal Government to within the time left at least make attempts at fulfilling its 2015 promise of securing lives and property while serving justice to the killers.
He said the 2023 election would be different as the Nigerian electorate was increasingly becoming aware of the dangers of ethnic and religious politics; a fact that caused anxiety, frustration, and desperation with political actors of the old order.
“The ObiDient Movement under Labour Party will continue to remain faithful to founding principles and the Signed Peace Accord and we equally invite all stakeholders to emulate.
“The next few weeks will see an escalation of election activity. I urge all who have not yet collected their PVCs, to do so without delay, and to follow through, to identify their polling booths, vote and defend their votes,” he said.