Group Faults Fayose's Political Advert On Buhari
SAN FRANCISCO, January 20, (THEWILL) – A civil society group, The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room), comprising of about 60 Civil Society Organisations working in support of credible and transparent elections in the country, Tuesday faulted the front page political advertisement in select national newspapers of Monday, January 19 credited to Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State titled “Nigerians Be Warned''.
In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by a senior programme officer at the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, (PLAC), Agianpe Ashang, the group described the advertisement as “being in extreme bad taste and falls within the category of hate speech” prohibited under the Electoral Act and other known international laws.
The group said the offensive advertisement negated the Abuja Accord recently signed by the presidential candidates and leaders of political parties for the elections.
The Situation Room therefore advised politicians to be cautious in their campaign and conduct ahead of the February polls and allow peace to reign in the country.
It also expressed disappointment that such a publication could emanate from a highly placed political office holder just as it expressed surprise that newspapers in the country would accept to publish such advertisement in clear violation of their duty to promote national cohesion at a critical time in the life of the country.
The Situation Room reminded Fayose and all other politicians that the constitutional requirements for running for the office of president were clearly stated under S.131 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The section, according to the statement, provides that: a person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; he has attained the age of 40 years; he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.
The Situation Room maintains that “S. 95 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) prohibited this kind of intemperate and slanderous language and innuendo from being used as campaign tools.”