A non-partisan body of eminent individuals in Nigeria’s entertainment industry has charged Nigerians to come together in order to achieve a hitch-free and peaceful elections come 2023.
The entertainers who under the aegis of Celebrities United for Peace (CUP) include actors, artistes, poets, among others, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report.
The member of CUP frowned at the degree of hate speech, fake news, and sentimentalism which is rife on social media. They also encouraged Nigerians to embrace patriotism and seek collective interest above other individual or sectional interest.
On Tuesday, CUP organized a media briefing with the theme ‘2023 General Election and National Peace/Order’ in order to express their plans and line of action toward the elections.
Present at the briefing were the Special Adviser to the President on Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Steve Eboh; Dr. Mrs. Olusola Darasimi; the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas; representatives from the Department of State Service (DSS); veterans and upcoming acts in the entertainment industry; among others.
Addressing pressmen at the briefing, the convener of Celebrities United for Peace (CUP), Mr. Andy Chukwu observed: ‘Owing to the commencement of electioneering campaign in line with INEC directives, electorates are bound to pitch tents with different political parties and candidates. This usually gives rise to verbal warfare as supporters are always ready to go the extra mile to market and promote their candidate. Sometimes this results to hate speech, dissemination of fake news to discredit their opponents with resultant violence’.
‘Having carefully considered the effect of these vices we have offered ourselves as mediators between the citizens, the political parties, and the candidates to educate them on the need to jettison hate speech, fake news, and shun violence before, during, and after the elections. As we have experienced even before the advent of the 2023 general election calendar, the social media space, regional platforms, and religious communities have been unnecessarily charged by fake news, social instigation, tribal, and religious sentiments’
‘Our ultimate goal is to reignite unconditional patriotism amongst the citizenry and make the protection of our unity and peaceful corporate existence an endearing necessity of collective interest. To this end a peaceful 2023 election becomes sacrosanct. Our focus is to disabuse the minds of all stakeholders and the general public from extremism, hate speech, fake news dissemination and violent engagement throughout the electoral process. The expected impact of this will activate a national conscience-oriented mentality and strategic hacking of these vices from the roots will dismantle agitated structures of conflict and guarantee a rancor-free election’, NAOSNP gathered.
Assuring Nigerians about the nonpartisan nature of the group, Andy Chukwu shared: ‘We are quite aware that most creative minds have pitched tents with different political camps and interests. We, Celebrities United for Peace, are devoid of any partisan interest or tribal alignment, as we are committed to moderating and nurturing the conscience of all for the emancipation of a united and peaceful Nigeria beyond the 2023 election.’
The convener used the opportunity to praise the efforts of all security agencies in Nigeria to avert violence and maintain orderliness. ‘But for the gallantry of our law enforcement agents especially the DSS whose capacity in intelligence gathering and management have ensured national stability as most of these vices are obvious threats to our national unity and security at large’, Chukwu concluded.
In the same vein, the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas briefly addressed pressmen. ‘We are not interested in a party, we are interested in Nigeria, in good governance and peaceful elections. That is why we are having this. We want a greater Nigeria.’
‘If you see an actor campaigning for a candidate, they are free to campaign but Actors Guild of Nigeria is not the one campaigning, the Producers Guild is not the one campaigning, Nollywood in general is not campaigning. We are interested in Nigeria. We also want to tell the principals of each political party, please can you convince us with your ideas about good governance’, Rollas noted.