Hate speeches will undermine electoral process, democracy - Fashola

Hate speeches by politicians is capable of undermining the country's electoral process and democracy, Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, has said.

The governor made the remark on Thursday in Lagos when a delegation of the Council of the Wise, led by its coordinator, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari paid him a courtesy visit.

He stressed the need for politicians to be held responsible for the actions of their supporters.

``The only way to hold politicians accountable is not only to be held responsible for what is done by them, but what is also done on their behalf,'' he said.

He urged candidates of political parties at all levels to dissociate themselves from hate speeches.
``When thugs begin to terrorise people on the street, the candidate should be able to disown the actions of such persons.

``We are helping to promote violence by allowing hate speeches by politicians," he said, and urged Nigerians to see the quest to contest election by politician as a call to serve the people.

Fashola said that it would be unfair to Nigerians if the card readers were not used for the elections when huge amount of money had been spent to procure them.

Earlier in his remark, Gambari said the card reader introduced by INEC would enhance the conduct of transparent elections and should be used.

``We should not be afraid of anything that will enhance the conduct of credible elections," he said, and urged the governor to do everything within his power to ensure peaceful elections in the state.

He added that if elections were free and fair, the possibility of violence would be minimized.
Gambari noted that the role of the governor as chief security officer of the state was critical to the conduct of peaceful elections in the state and beyond.

Meanwhile, the council of the wise has called for partnership with Channels Televisions for the promotion of its activities.

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari made the call on Thursday when he visited Mr John Momoh, the chairman of Channels TV.

He said that the television station was one of the stations that adhered strictly to the ethics of profession.

``We need you as partners; I consider Channels as my station; we need your cooperation," he said.

Gambari accused some politicians of making irresponsible speeches that could undermine the unity of the country.

Responding, Momoh promised to support the council's laudable idea.

``We will do everything possible to cue in to the vision of the council,'' he said and promised to assist the council in its activities.

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