#Roadto2023: Political Actors, Supporters Engage in Personality Attacks, Focus less on Burning National Issues as Campaign  – CEREDEMS Africa-PAN  

As the campaign activities for the 2023 General Elections entered day 2, political parties, candidates and their supporters have been enjoined to be issue-based as the campaigns get ahead in the country. This was contained in a press release issued by the Centre for Research on Development of Africa Media, Governance and Society (CEREDEMS Africa) and Positive Agenda Nigeria (PAN) to disseminate the outcomes of its day 2 monitoring of the campaign ecosystem in the country.

According to Jamiu Folarin, the Director of the project’s Communication and Public Engagement “we observed that political actors such as political parties, candidates and their supporters rarely addressed the core policies and campaign issues related to employment, agriculture, health as well as workers’ salary and welfare. Our analysis also revealed that policy issues of infrastructure, social programme, security, economy and education received little engagement.” Folarin also noted that the analysis indicated that the parties did not pay attention to many of the issues bedeviling the nation.

Source: CEREDEMS Africa-PAN, 2022

He said “instead of prioritising the areas of needs for the country’s development, political actors paid more attention to discussions on how they would retain or gain political power through the presidential election, as well as rescue, restructure and rebuild Nigeria.” He posited that the parties made attempts to sell their candidacy of their flagbearers as the most qualified for the highest office in the country.

The report, which was generated from messages monitored on social media and newspaper appearance of parties, candidates and their supporters, revealed an early sign of personality attacks as well as rebuttals and defenses to opponents’ arguments. It also averred that the political supporters and actors also questioned the competence and integrity of other candidates.

It would be recalled that the two organisations – CEREDEMS Africa and PAN- had launched the Nigerian Presidential Election Campaign Monitoring  Project earlier in the month to monitor the campaign activities of political parties and their candidates as the the inches closer to the 2023 General Elections. The monitoring  report is one of the series of reports to be released by the organisations aimed at strengthening the democratic culture and promote a sane campaign atmosphere during Nigerian elections.

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