Educate voters, stop hate speech, Yiaga Africa tells aspirants and parties

Ahead of this year’s general elections, Yiaga Africa has urged the 18 registered political parties and their candidates to educate the electorate, shun hate speech and other electoral malfeasance and engage in issue-based campaigns.

This was contained in the 20-page ‘Yiaga Africa’s Watching the Vote Third National Pre-Election Observation (PREO)’ Report.

It said hate speech on the basis of age, health, gender, religion, ethnicity or disability has remained relatively constant over time but the prevalence of each kind of hate speech varies by geo-political zone.

“In addition, the violence monitoring tool revealed the rising threat of violence and insecurity in local government areas that are difficult to access for election-related activities due to insecurity. It also tracks attacks on INEC’s facilities and personnel and insecurity.

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“Yiaga Africa reiterates many of the same recommendations that emerged in previous reporting periods. Yiaga Africa encourages electoral actors with a mandate to provide voter information, especially on key changes to the electoral process, to increase activities in those areas where voters are relatively uninformed.

“We encourage candidates, media houses and citizens, especially social media influencers to refrain from using incendiary language and to maintain a respectful campaign environment.

“We recommend that the upsurge in fuel prices and shortages be closely monitored as economic grievances could exacerbate tensions and serve as catalysts for electoral violence,” the report said.

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