Be civil, Catholic bishops warn politicians

Nigerian politicians and their agents should be civil and respectful in their utterances while canvassing for votes ahead of the forthcoming general election, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria warned on Tuesday.

The organisation regretted that rather than marketing their candidates and manifestos through issue-based campaigns, some political parties have embarked on the use of intemperate language, threats, character assassination and misinformation.

The CBCN expressed these views during a media parley organised by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in Abuja

The Secretary-General of CSN, Rev. Fr. Zacharia Samjumi, charged political parties to understand that elections are not a do-or-die affair.

He said, “We have also observed that rather than marketing a party’s agenda and a candidate’s manifesto through value-based campaigns and discipline of language, some political parties campaigns are often characterised by the use of intemperate language, the issuance of threats, character assassination and the spread of misinformation and outright falsehood about their opponents.

“We urge all Nigerians, especially politicians and their agents, to be civil, decent, and respectful in their utterances as they canvass for votes and debate the country’s future.

“The political parties and candidates should understand that elections are not a do-or-die affair and remember that no one is so good enough to lead another without his/her consent.

“The candidates should stick to their signed peace accord and call on their followers to shun violence and thuggery. Only a peaceful election can guarantee the peaceful Nigeria we desire to live in.”

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